“Progress” vs. “Oriental Despotism”

November 9, 1953 — The Times Record

The Mossadegh Project | February 8, 2013                       

Editorial in The Times Record newspaper of Troy, New York — Monday evening, November 9, 1953.


Nobody outside of Iran—except, of course, the Communists—will disagree with the statement that Mohammed Mossadegh must be tried for high treason. The trial has begun and the world generally will follow it with interest.

For here is a man who sought to seize authority in a critical moment, in a critical area, and, in order to get it, compromised with the Reds. [Did he now?] He assumed an authority which he had not earned, destroyed historical foundations of the state and acted as any tyrant would act. Secure, as he believed, with the help of powerful forces in Russia and with a combination of minorities in Persia, he ignored all the processes of an emerging democracy in creating his own dictatorship. [garbage]

From the standpoint of those who have risen from monarchy and tyranny in their various forms to representative government by, of and for the people, anyone who would seek to turn back the clock is guilty of heinous crime. That is the natural position of any American. But the East is the East and the West cannot always understand its modes of thought. All we in the New World can do is to watch the trial and hope, whatever the result, that it will end all efforts to swing Iran out of the orbit of progress and back into the orbit of Oriental despotism, dovetailed in these days inevitably with the horrors of a Russian control.

Richard Stokes’ Second Thoughts on Iranian Oil (1951 Letter)
Richard Stokes' Letter to Clement Attlee, Aga Khan Concurs (1951)

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Related links:

In Defense Of Mossadegh | Letter to the Editor, December 11, 1953

Agreement in Iran | Amsterdam Evening Recorder and Daily Democrat, August 11, 1954

Iran Arraigns Ex-Dictator | Associated Press, October 4, 1953

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

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