Mossadegh, Sacco and Vanzetti
December 26, 1953 — The Times Record

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project
| September 17, 2014    

On trial: Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti

On August 23, 1927, Italian American anarchist laborers Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were electrocuted in connection with a double murder and robbery in Braintree, Massachusetts.

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti Their sensationalized trial, with its inconclusive evidence and allegations of bias, became an international spectacle, setting off widespread protest in their defense. In 1977, Governor Michael Dukakis issued a proclamation indicating that the case had not been conducted fairly.

The Times Record newspaper out of upstate New York wished a similar same fate for the deposed Prime Minister of Iran, but feared that if executed, he, too would achieve martyrdom like Sacco and Vanzetti. In light of this, the newspaper thought it more prudent to just keep the animal locked safely in his cage.

In the end, Mossadegh’s life was spared—though he became a martyr figure anyway.


There is danger in giving to Mohammed Mossadegh anything less than a death sentence. He is a sly politician and he has many friends.

But there is also danger in executing him. Thereby he would become a martyr and “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” It is similarly the seed of much organized resentment. Probably Sacco and Vanzetti, Boston Communists, were guilty. The courts thought so. An investigating committee came to the same conclusion. But undoubtedly their capital sentence turned many from pink to red. The derelictions of the leftist clergy really began with their curious attitude on this case.

So there is some reason in limiting Mossadegh’s sentence to solitary confinement. That he is to be in “solitary” is wise; for we know he would be plotting in prison if he were permitted any liberties at all. In three years he ought to have suffered enough to repay him for his traitorous career; and he will be old enough to be sobered down to reality. If the present government cannot come to a peaceful solution of its difficulties in three years it doesn’t deserve much of the Persian people.

Mossadegh probably will consider the sentence something of a vindication. But it is not. It is the cool, solemn judgment of the country—unwilling to make a martyr of him, conscious of his age and his infirmities, anxious for no other result than the man’s removal from the scene long enough to give the present dispensation a chance. We think he is very lucky to be alive.

SENTENCED TO HANG: Mossadegh’s Media-Contrived Death Verdict
SENTENCED TO HANG: Mossadegh’s Contrived Death Verdict

Related links:

Mossadegh Must Be TriedThe Times Record, November 9, 1953

Mossadegh Admits He Sent Anti-Shah Notes To ArmyUPI, November 29, 1953

The Fate of MossadeghThe Brooklyn Eagle, August 21, 1953

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

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