February 15, 1952 — The Times Record

The Mossadegh Project | November 17, 2014                   

An uncharacteristically technical, inoffensive editorial in The Times Record’s Friday evening paper about the World Bank (which they refer to as the International Bank).


The manner in which the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development hopes to get oil production resumed in the Iranian fields is far from clear.

A second mission from the bank has departed to confer with the government of Premier Mossadegh. A first mission which inspected the fields and the refining installations at Abadan found them in reasonably good condition.

That the fields should be put into operation goes without question. The Anglo-Iranian rift has created a temporary oil shortage. The British navy and the Near Eastern market used to be supplied from Abadan. Other sources, American and Venezuelan, are making up part of the deficit, but it is anticipated that over the next six months there is likely to be a shortage of 100,000 barrels a day.

The International Bank [World Bank] offer includes a loan to cover the cost of resuming production until the output can again pay for the operation. Profits accruing from resumption would be split three ways, one part for Iran, another for the distributor which presumably would be the Anglo-Iranian company, and the third for the bank to repay the loan.

What has not been made clear is who will carry on the actual operations in the field. The Iranians themselves cannot do it. Neutral engineers and technicians were not available, it was discovered at the time of the break. The only people who could supply the essential need are the British or the Americans.

If Anglo-Iranian is to distribute the output, are they also to do the exploiting? Is this loan contingent on a resumption of relations with the ousted company? Or is this overture a back-door method of allowing Americans to step in, a possibility that was quashed by the State Department when the danger to Anglo-American relations on every front was realized.

Possibly Mossadegh, in his subtle way, hopes to lure Americans into the field in this manner.

Related links:

Iran and Oil | The Times Record, August 26, 1952

Iran Sizzles | The WORLD This WEEK, September 28, 1951

Anyone Surprised? | April 29, 1952 editorial

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

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