What A Relief
August 24, 1953 — The Northern Star

The Mossadegh Project | January 25, 2021                           

Lead editorial on Iran after the 1953 coup in The Northern Star newspaper of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia.

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

Chance for West in Persian Upheaval

THE COMPLEX NATURE of politics in Persia makes it difficult for the Western mind to understand completely the developments that led to the overthrow of the anti-British regime led by Dr. Mossadeq by the pro-Shah forces led by General Zahedi. [Fazlollah Zahedi] Only a matter of days ago Dr. Mossadeq appeared to be more securely in power than ever before and well on the way towards abolishing the Persian Lower House and establishing himself as virtual dictator. But almost overnight a Royalist coup was successful; Persian crowds which had formerly hailed Dr. Mossadeq for his seizure of the great Anglo-Iranian oil concern, were seeking his destruction and the Shah had returned to Teheran.

The real reasons for the dramatic change are hard to fathom, but they are no doubt associated with the parlous condition of the country’s finances since Dr. Mossadeq estranged the West with his stubborn refusal to come to terms with Britain over his seizure of the company’s assets. This long quarrel, during which Persia’s main source of revenue, her oil industry, has remained practically dormant, had bankrupted the country’s treasury and paved the way for an authoritarian rule that would have given the Persian Communist (Tudeh) Party its long sought chance to seize power.

The change of government in Persia will be hailed with relief by Western nations. While it is not likely to lessen the anti-foreign, particularly British, feeling that had long been fostered by Dr. Mossadeq, it will provide the opportunity for stable government which Persia so urgently needs. Experienced observers believe that the power of the new Premier, General Zahedi, rests with the army, and ultimately upon his ability to pay the army. That alone is likely to induce in him a more reasonable attitude toward the West, and particularly towards a settlement with the Anglo-Iranian Company, on which financial aid from the West is contingent.

Without quick financial aid, the new regime stands little chance of doing any better than Dr. Mossadeq towards making Persia completely independent. The Western countries will be quick to exploit the unexpected opportunity that has come their way and no doubt will seek an early settlement of outstanding issues. Apart from its great oil deposits, Persia occupies a position of great strategic importance on the frontiers of Russia and India, and has long presented a tempting picture to the Russian leaders. While open Russian intervention is considered unlikely, support for the strong Tudeh Party may be forthcoming, and in the coming few weeks Persia may be a danger-spot of greater proportions than ever before.

The U.S.-Britain Alliance To Erase Mossadegh Was Not Inevitable
The U.S.-Britain Alliance To Erase Mossadegh Was Not Inevitable

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Related links:

Self-Determination In Practice | The Advertiser, August 18, 1953

Britain Cannot Afford More Concessions | Northern Star, Sept. 29, 1951

The Unquenchable Mossadeq | The Kalgoorlie Miner, August 19, 1953

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

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