Guilty Until Proven Innocent
August 26, 1953 — The Times Record

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | August 26, 2014                     

The Times Record never shied from defamation and outright slander in its assessments of Premier Mohammad Mossadegh, repeatedly leveling outrageous charges against him without evidence in their newspaper.

So it’s funny to read this post-coup editorial from their Wednesday evening edition, once again passing harsh judgment based on what they falsely upheld as “fact” while simultaneously extolling the virtues of a free and fair criminal trial in a civilized society. They’ve already determined him guilty!

It’s this kind of twisted doublespeak that Orwell warned us about.


The decision to try Mohammed Mossadegh for treason is natural. Either the man is a traitor or he is a hero. And if he is a hero, then the Shah is something rather terrible.

You can’t have the kind of gyrations which have marked Iran since Mossadegh has been in power and think them the inevitable patriotic activities of strong leadership. However you measure it, it remains a fact that Mossadegh did arrange to destroy popular government, did accept the assistance of the Communists and did drive the ruler of the realm out of the country. [not a single fact here] If that is treason, the present government should make the most of it. If it wasn’t treason, then Mossadegh should not be under restraint.

Thus one looks at the situation from the outside. It is much better to try the old man than to act prematurely or savagely. In a Communist country there would be no trial. There would be an execution without further ado. But Persia is trying to carry on in a civilized manner. That is right. And it might be that the capital sentence is not the proper penalty. That must be determined after due process of law. The Shah is right in taking such a position.

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


Related links:

In Defense Of Mossadegh | Letter to Editor, Detroit Free Press (Dec. 11, 1953)

Mossadegh’s Sentence for Treason | Los Angeles Times, Dec. 23, 1953

Things Move Fast | Daily Press (St. Marys, PA), August 22, 1953

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

Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Tumblr   Instagram