Promise For A Settlement

November 10, 1951 — The Troy Record

The Mossadegh Project | September 12, 2017                   

The Troy Record in New York ran this unusually hopeful editorial during Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh’s trip to America in autumn 1951.

Mossadegh Gives Ground

Iran is reported to have offered to sell 70 per cent of its oil at a discount to settle the dispute over nationalization of the industry, retaining the remainder for marketing at greater profit. In addition, Premier Mossadegh is willing to hire foreign technicians to operate the refineries.

Both represent major concessions. The Iranian position has been right along that no compromise terms were possible, that the property would be operated by Iranians and the products would be marketed by that country without middlemen. Here is evidence that the once adamant Dr. Mossadegh is coming around to an attitude of “give” in place of the former “take-all” stand.

The Mossadegh softening holds real promise for a settlement. A matching willingness to bargain on the part of the British, of course, will be required to end the deadlock. And another hurdle remains in the difficulty the Iranian Premier faces in selling any arrangement he may make to his people back home.

This Iranian oil controversy is one of those unpredictable affairs where all concerned seem to have taken over much for granted with disastrous consequences. Dr. Mossadegh counted on starving the consumers of Iran’s oil into submission. But the British customers have been supplied from other sources and while the readjustment has imposed a strain the disruption the Iranian leader anticipated has not materialized. The British relied on Iranian dependence on oil revenue to compel submission. The Teheran government was not supposed to be able to survive when the payments stopped. The economic pinch was expected to squeeze Mossadegh himself out of power but that, too, has been proven a false assumption.

While many people have included this country in the score when assessing the blame for the deadlock it would seem that here again the estimate proved erroneous. We have been told that the United States failed to intervene soon enough, that both sides leaned heavily on American assistance to bring the other principal to his senses. But the British insistence on gambling on collapse of the Mossadegh regime and the Iranian’s equally unreasonable all-or-nothing attitude just about barred effective mediation.

The latest account which has it that Dr. Mossadegh is in a mood to grant concessions is the best omen to develop thus far. His continued presence in this country, long after the United Nations washed its hands of the Iran oil dispute, is a good sign. Dr. Mossadegh might have returned home in triumph after the British appeal to the United Nations failed to produce results. But that would have left the dispute unresolved. Evidently Mossadegh is staying on for the purpose of negotiating in neutral territory, away from the emotional disturbances at home. Now he is angling for settlement. The hope is warranted that agreement can be reached before Dr. Mossadegh leaves.

Truman and Mossadegh’s First Messages on Iran Oil Dispute (1951)
President Truman and Premier Mossadegh's First Messages on Iran Oil Dispute (1951)


Related links:

Mossadegh Appears Ready For Business | The Troy Record, October 9, 1951

US Plans New Mediation Effort In Iran DisputeUnited Press, October 25, 1951

Dr. Mossadeq’s Problems | The Queensland Times, November 27, 1951

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

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