Hysterics & Histrionics

December 1, 1951 — The WORLD This WEEK

The Mossadegh Project | January 1, 2014                    

This unbylined opinion piece, coming on the heels of Mossadegh’s return home, 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’s Policies
Exposed to Poll Test

IN TEHRAN, an old man stood among a quarter-million Iranians cheering the return of Premier Mohammed Mossadegh from a 47-day trip to the U.S.

The public welcome became super-emotional as the premier’s car moved through the crowd. The old man suddenly threw himself under the car and pulled out a big knife to cut his throat in oriental style sacrifice. He was rescued and restrained by police.

Such displays have marked the entire course of Iran’s program to nationalize its oil industry—an issue which has set off a sizzling chain reaction in the volatile Middle East. The histrionics have not been confined to the public, which has staged a series of demonstrations in support of Mossadegh’s nationalization policy. Government officials, notably the aged premier himself, have resorted to antics regularly.

Tears Win Again

This week, Mossadegh won a smashing vote of confidence in the Iranian parliament after a weeping appeal for support. While the Majlis (lower house of parliament) obediently reversed its earlier decision to delay parliamentary elections until Dec. 18. and voted to hold them immediately, crowds outside the building cheered hysterically.

Mossadegh was seeking a bold test of his oil nationalization regime. He promised there would be no compromise with the British on the oil question and said the 19,000,000 Iranians must tighten their belts and wage a battle of austerity with the British.

Victory for Mossadegh in the national elections, which normally take about three weeks, is by no means assured. There are many troubles ahead. The Communist Tudeh Party, which was reported this week to be putting up election candidates under false party labels, can be expected to provide a major share of them.

Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954
Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954

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Related links:

Mossadegh a Hero? | Evening News of the Tonawandas, Nov. 26, 1951

They Can’t Even Eat It | Buffalo Courier-Express, Nov. 10, 1951

Mossadegh Snarled In Twin Dilemma | The WORLD This WEEK, September 6, 1952

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

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