Stamped Out

August 27, 1953 — The Times Record

Arash Norouzi

The Mossadegh Project | February 22, 2016                    

Even for The Times Record, with its open animosity toward Dr. Mossadegh, the following editorial published the week after the 1953 coup in Iran was remarkably propagandistic.

Their conclusions were based mainly on wire reports dubiously claiming that the new regime had discovered postage stamps in Tudeh headquarters prepared to set up a Soviet-style republic. The newspaper exaggerated this further by saying that Premier Mossadegh himself was directly involved somehow and all ready to put the stamps on sale!

As the entire coup operation was premised on lies, and used lies as a tactic in achieving its goal, there is no reason to automatically accept anything the coup government (or the heavily biased U.S. media) stated at face value—especially without offering any actual proof.


Evidently Mohammed Mossadegh had his plans laid well in advance. He played his cards deftly and thought he would be sure to take the winning trick.

But he failed. His program is coming out slowly. He was careful to prevent any settlement; for a settlement [on the oil dispute with Britain] would be likely to destroy his preferred position. [Outrageous nonsense] He kept pressing his personality into the picture. [Whatever that means] In the end he felt he had destroyed the power of the Moslem religious authority and of the Shah. Then he performed his coup, taking over the government with a high hand because, as he believed, he had destroyed all possible opposition. [Are they upholding the sanctity of the clerical estate as well as the monarchy?]

He was wrong. He outraged the traditions of the nation. [Including its Islamic traditions, they seem to imply] Now we discover that he had postage stamps all ready to put on sale, with the words “Iranian Republic” on them. In short, he intended to call his dictatorship a republic, in accordance with the Russian example. The stamps, incidentally, were in the possession of the Tudeh leaders.

All was ready; all but the public. On that Mossadegh had not counted. He thought the Iranians would be the same bovine people that inhabit Russia and that he could do what Lenin did years ago. But he guessed wrong; and he may lose his life because he was so bad a guesser. The citizens of Persia are well aware of the danger in the north and they do not care to increase its strength, even under the name of reform, republicanism and representative government. [Mossadegh’s rejection of Soviet encroachment in Iran was well established]

70th Anniversary of TIME’s 1951 Man of the Year


Related links:

Mossadegh Treated Well | The San Bernardino County-Sun, December 24, 1953

Mossadegh To Be Tried | The Times Record, August 26, 1953

Is Iran Next on the Red Timetable? | Los Angeles Times, Aug. 18, 1953

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

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