Aged but Durable

March 3, 1953 — The WORLD This WEEK

The Mossadegh Project | March 26, 2014                    

The WORLD This WEEK, a syndicated package of news and editorial content which ran as full page spreads in U.S. newspapers, on the No’he Esfand incident in Iran.

Tehran Riots Grow From Oil Deadlock

IRAN’S Mohammed Mossadegh, aged but durable, is not a man who is swayed by riotous demonstrations. He has weathered a continual series of them since he took over as premier.

The volatile situation in Tehran this week saw Mossadegh hard at work, rallying his support while he held his opponents at a stand-off.

The whole outburst in Tehran apparently arose from Mossadegh’s efforts to make himself complete master of troubled Iran before letting the people know that negotiations to settle the oil nationalization issue with Britain had failed again.

The merchants in the near-bankrupt nation have become aroused at the excessive tax load they are forced to bear. They blame the heavier taxes on loss of oil revenues resulting from Iran’s nationalization of the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. [AIOC] Britain has successfully managed to prevent Iran from selling the oil in world markets.

Mossadegh sensed the resentment among the merchant class and realized it could be exploited by his political enemies. In addition, Mossadegh got wind of an army plot to overthrow the government.

The premier reportedly believed these opposition movements were encouraged by royal court circles and determined on a showdown with Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi. Local newspapers in Tehran reported Mossadegh contemplated bringing royal court finances under direct government control. That would mean royal estates—long tax free—were to be taxed.

The crisis with the Shah set screaming mobs loose in the capital. Crowds supporting the Shah attacked Mossadegh’s house. Later, pro-Mossadegh forces appeared in the streets and tangled with the royalist mobsters. Apparently everybody was mad at the U.S.

American-owned-autos and homes were stoned. U.S. Point Four and consular offices were closed throughout the city. Embassy personnel were ordered to stay off the streets.


Related links:

New Complications in Iran | Brooklyn Eagle, April 8, 1953

Attitude of Shah Concerning His Present Position | CIA, March 16, 1953

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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