Doomsday Clock
July 1, 1952 — The Mercury

The Mossadegh Project | April 22, 2016                          

Here is an editorial from The Mercury newspaper of Hobart, Tasmania in Australia, established in 1854.

It was based directly on a sketchy Australian Associated Press (AAP) item they ran on page two, and an alleged statement attributed to the Iranian Finance Minister, all of which we have not been able to substantiate.

Australian media archive


PERSIA’S economy has staggered along without oil profits much longer than anyone thought possible. But the day of reckoning is at hand.

For nine months the Persians have received no revenue from oil, their greatest natural resource. [Britain stopped paying oil royalties to Iran starting over six months prior to nationalization, as soon as they realized it was a possibility.] As a result the economic situation has deteriorated to such an extent that the Finance Minister a few days ago expressed “complete despair” about the future. [Mohammad Ali Varasteh]

Dr. Mossadeq also appears close to accepting defeat. With a characteristic touch of the ridiculous he has told the Shah that the only course open — other than to replace him with a Prime Minister prepared to submit to any settlement of the oil problem — is for Parliament to support his policy without considering oil revenues.

This is tantamount to a request that he be allowed to lead Persia until the end comes, in the shape of national bankruptcy and chaos. Whether or not Dr. Mossadeq realises it, his alternative is a confession of tragic failure.

Sooner rather than later responsible Persians will have to reverse Dr. Mossadeq’s policy and recognise that the country cannot exist without revenue from a prosperous oil industry. Unless they do so in time Persia will collapse, and a people which fretted about the imaginary domination of Britain will find themselves under the all-too-real domination of Russia.

Vernon Walters Amuses Crowd With Mossadegh Stories (1974)


Related links:

Persia Likely To Rue Severing Relations With United Kingdom | October 18, 1952

Flash Point In Persia | The Argus (Melbourne, Australia), May 18, 1951

Iran’s Problems | U.S. editorial, June 17, 1952

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

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