Riding the Tiger
March 3, 1953 — The Advertiser

The Mossadegh Project | December 25, 2021                    

Lead editorial on the No’he Esfand episode in Iran in The Advertiser newspaper of Adelaide, South Australia. The event was also chronicled in their front page story, an interior article, and an editorial cartoon.

Australian media archive

The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia) newspaper


Riding the tiger has always been a hazardous and even unhealthy undertaking. In the Persian arena, Dr. Mossadeq has shown no little skill and tenacity in performing this feat. Escaping in his pyjamas from a rioting mob on Saturday night, however, he must have wondered how much longer he could maintain his precarious seat.

Aspects of the latest outbreaks of violence in Tehran tend to stress the volatile and changeable character of Persian politics. Only a few months ago, observers in that city were “writing off” the Palace as a factor in the political situation. The Shah’s position and influence, it was stated, had been undermined by persistent claims that he was the “tool” of foreigners.

That this was a hasty, shallow judgment is now evident from the clamor aroused in the streets of Tehran, following a disclosure that the Shah was planning to leave the country. The demonstrators’ demand that the Shah should remain threatened to develop into an attack on the Premier.

Admittedly, it was not the Shah himself, but Ayatullah Kashani, Speaker of the Majlis, who “engineered” the demonstrations. [Ayatollah Kashani] But this successful stroke by the wily and turbulent old priest, too, was in piquant contrast with the results of an earlier dash between Kashani and Mossadeq. In January, the Speaker finally bowed to a demand by the Premier for an extension of his emergency powers.

At one time, Kashani was regarded as Mossadeq’s first lieutenant and “hatchet man.” But nothing seems clearer now than that this bitterly anti-Western mullah, nurturing his own ambitions, is anxious to prevent Mossadeq from acquiring dictatorial power. The Shah, supported by part of the Army, is still an obstacle in the Premier’s path to dictatorship; and Kashani saw the danger of allowing Mohamed Pahlevi to leave. [Mohammad Reza Pahlavi] By calling his “men of the bazaar” into the streets once more, Kashani showed that he cannot be ignored.

Cartoon by Eyre Jr. (Harry Giles Eyre)

SAFER AT HOME: U.S. Implores Shah To Stay In Iran (Feb. 1953)
SAFER AT HOME: U.S. Implores Shah To Stay In Iran (Feb. 1953)

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Related links:

Turmoil In Persia | The News (Adelaide), March 2, 1953

Iran Army True to Shah | Jamestown Post-Journal, April 15, 1953

Setting For A Light Opera | The Times Record, March 5, 1953

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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