Off the Cuff
October 2, 1951 — The Times Record

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | March 3, 2014                    

In the vast field of anti-Mossadegh editorials, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. Yet this biased Tuesday morning piece does a pretty good job of it. The preferential treatment given to the British position is so rock solid, you’d think they penned it themselves. Hmmm....

The Times Record was an independent newspaper in Troy, New York. Its daily circulation average at the time (morning and evening combined) was 46,473.

Mossadegh Acts Like A Madman

Unless Iranian Premier Mossadegh has something more pertinent to offer than his tirade in Tehran he will do well to stay away from the Security Council meeting called to deal with the oil controversy. Dr. Mossadegh proclaimed in a broadcast that the rulers of the world handcuff the weak and hasten to the assistance of the strong. He went on to declare that these rulers of the world love liberty but not for others, that they recognize property rights only in order to usurp the rights of the weak.

The Iranian Premier’s outburst is unadulterated demagoguery. The history of the oil dispute between Iran and Britain contradicts his words. If this ranting is a sample of the Iranian government chief’s argument he would be well advised to stay home and leave his country’s case in the hands of Iran’s diplomats accredited to Lake Success. [Interim headquarters of the United Nations and UN Security Council from 1946-1951, located in Nassau County, NY]

Since Mossadegh is quarreling with the British it follows that when he speaks of “rulers of the world” he means the London government. His dart is rubber-tipped. Britain does not come to mind these days when someone employs the term Mossadegh uses. At once one thinks of Russian ambitions. But the British have slipped so far and so swiftly that Mossadegh is silly to apply the term against them.

His reference to the strong handcuffing the weak is equally illogical. How any Iranian could venture to such lengths because that country is involved in a dispute submitted to the Security Council is difficult to understand. Of all the nations in the world Iran is most deeply obligated to the Security Council. For it was the Security Council, as one of its first major acts, that rescued Iran from the Russians by championing the case of a weak nation partly occupied by a giant neighbor. Iran has every reason to respect the integrity of the Security Council and the major powers represented there and no cause whatever to resent or distrust council intervention.

The very fact that Iran’s controversy is placed in the hands of the Security Council refutes Mossadegh’s cries of handcuffing and abuse of the rights of small nations. Britain is going before the council in order to avert the alternative of military action. The United States endorses adjudication and frowns on a resort to armed force. Months ago the British appealed to the International Court of Justice and it was Mossadegh who rejected the court’s proposal to continue operation of the oil fields pending the outcome of negotiations on Iran’s nationalization of the properties.

Dr. Mossadegh is striving to picture other nations as ruthless robbers taking at gun point property that does not belong to them. His claims will not hold water. The Iranian Premier merely confirms an already substantial impression of his own unreasoning fanaticism. Mossadegh is acting like a madman instead of the responsible head of a sovereign state.

70th Anniversary of TIME’s Man of the Year Article
Challenge of the East: TIME's 1951 Man of the Year Mohammad Mossadegh


Related links:

Reserve and Recourse? | The Cornell Daily Sun, October 18, 1951

Knives For the Night | The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 15, 1951

“Broken Weekend” May Break British-Iranian Deadlock | J.E. Jones, August 9, 1951

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

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