What It Boils Down To

October 13, 1951 — The WORLD This WEEK

The Mossadegh Project | March 14, 2014                     

This opinion piece was part of The WORLD This WEEK, a syndicated package of news and editorial content which ran in U.S. newspapers all over the country.

Mossadegh Pays a Call

The Anglo-Iranian dispute boils down to one point as far as Iranian Premier Mohammed Mossadegh is concerned. He believes British “economic and political imperialism” have kept Iran a backward country. He says:

“The lack of development, the deprivation and the misfortunes of Iran during the last 50 years are due to the fact that a cruel and imperialistic company, under the pretext of extraction of oil, has robbed a most needy and naked people.”

By such arguments, interspersed with wailing and fainting at strategic spots, Mossadegh has won over even political opponents at home to back his nationalistic programs.

Though often accused of reckless fanaticism, Mossadegh has proved an astute general in rigidly sticking to his purpose of driving the British out and taking over the vast Anglo-Iranian oil by bit.

Big Question Remains

Not only have Iranians taken over the refinery and oil field installations, but also the British-built city of Abadan with its air-conditioned homes for British employes, stores, water works, electric plant and other modern facilities. The British claimed the action is illegal, and backed up their argument before the U.N. Security Council with the World Court decision suspending Iranian action until negotiations could be held.

For the British, whose technical skill developed the riches of the Iranian oil empire, the Persian oil and the Abadan refinery have proved of vital strategic importance in two world wars.

The British have, through the years, negotiated successive concessions with the Iranian Government in what they call an attempt to provide an equitable share of the profits from Iranian oil resources to the Iranians. Of late, Mossadegh’s nationalists have blocked further concessions, and demanded full Iranian ownership.

The big question, after all the speeches before TV cameras in the U.N. Security Council chamber in New York will remain: Can Iranians run the giant enterprises?

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

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Related links:

Mossadegh Acts Like A Madman | The Times Record, October 2, 1951

UN Last, Best Hope Left For Settlement In Iran | Battle Creek Enquirer, Oct. 1, 1951

Mossadegh’s Policies Exposed To Poll Test | The WORLD This WEEK, December 1, 1951

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

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