Rare Patience
September 29, 1951 — The Northern Star

The Mossadegh Project | June 12, 2020                           

Lead editorial on Iran in The Northern Star newspaper of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia.

The Northern Star (Lismore, New South Wales, Australia)

Britain Cannot Afford More Concessions

THE GRAVE SITUATION which has developed in Persia following the failure to break the deadlock between Britain and the Persian Government provides a set of circumstances which could plunge the whole of the Middle East into war. The seriousness of the British position is indicated by the fact that the leaders of the Labor Government and the Conservatives have met in a secret session to discuss the position.

The Persian order of expulsion against 300 British technicians still on the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company’s installations at Abadan has been followed by the seizure of the company’s buildings and a threat that if Britain landed any forces to protect British personnel and property, the plant would be destroyed.

The bitterness of the Persian Government in its rejection of mediation moves by Britain, and also by the United States, does not leave any ground for optimism that the extreme nationalist policy which has been pursued by the Mossadeq Government will be modified during the crucial next few days.

The stand by the Government was not met strongly enough by the British Government in the early phases of the dispute, but criticism of action in the past cannot ease the immediate seriousness of the position. It is clear, however, that Britain must stand firm and rely on the hope that its refusal to accept the Persian conditions will sufficiently strengthen the hand of the more moderate sections of the Government and the Shah to force Dr. Mossadeq to make a last minute withdrawal of the expulsion order and the directions which have been given to the armed forces.

There is some hope in the renewal of the British and American representations to the Shah for the Government to relax its demands, but the failure of such moves in the past does not indicate that the result will be any different on this occasion. It could, however, result in a delay in the course of events which now seem to be determined and even a breathing space of a few days might be important in arriving at some new basis of discussion or further weaken the position of the Persian Government.

In the background of the ominous position there have been reports of movements of Soviet forces in the Azerbaijan area and also a claim that the Soviet Ambassador to Persia has been recalled to Moscow to plan the development of Soviet strategy in the situation. [Ivan Vasilievich Sadchikov] The total collapse of the British position would be reflected immediately in other oilfields, such as Iraq and Saudi Arabia, where vast American interests would become involved.

Britain has exercised rare patience in the dispute, but it cannot be expected to last while harm is threatened to personnel and damage to property. There is no room for further concessions and the fact that policy is now being given the guidance of the pooled views of the Labor and Conservative parties affirms that there will be no further re treat from the stand now being taken. The position is grave but it would be worse if there was any appeasement now to the demands of Persian extremism.

Truman and Mossadegh’s First Messages on Iran Oil Dispute (1951)
President Truman and Premier Mossadegh's First Messages on Iran Oil Dispute (1951)

Search MohammadMossadegh.com

Related links:

Twisting the Lion’s tail | The Singleton Argus, May 15, 1953

Dangers In Persia | The Queensland Times, May 17, 1951

Bleak Outlook In Persia | Newcastle Morning Herald, May 5, 1951

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

Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Tumblr   Instagram