Out On A Limb

October 18, 1952 — The Times Record

The Mossadegh Project | December 22, 2015                    

On the day it was published, this typically anti-Mossadegh piece in The Times Record was sandwiched cozily between two anti-Truman editorials. “We must get rid of Truman and his gang”, declared the Troy, New York newspaper.


The most predictable thing about Iran’s Premier Mossadegh is his unpredictability. In a way, however, his announced intention of severing diplomatic relations with Britain is no surprise. He has been threatening this action for weeks, unless the London government submitted to his demand for a payment of $137,000,000 in “reparations” to his government for the damage done it in the shutting down of the Iranian oil industry. [This sum was what AIOC owed Iran for withheld loyalties and back taxes, not “reparations”. Mossadegh was actually asking for less than half that amount as a good will gesture.]

In a different set of circumstances, perhaps, the decision of Premier Mossadegh to break relations with London would be taken quite seriously. There are factors about it, however, that suggest that the Premier has not closed all doors to suggestions and proposals for settling this long-drawn out controversy over Iranian oil. And, too, while his action may provide some salve for Mossadegh’s ego it is to be wondered how it will have any effect in pulling his country out of pawn.

Alongside of what real injuries Mossadegh has done British interests and prestige, this latest gesture is little more than a pin-prick. Look back, for instance, over the record of proposals, demands and abortive negotiations, and the prospect of agreement which must still be sought, and it does not appear to be much altered for the worse.

What now? The matter still seems to rest in the hands of the petulant Mr. Mossadegh. The great danger seems to be that, in his frustrations, Mossadegh may so far saw off the limb on which he has placed himself that he may eventually be unable to crawl back into the tree.

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Related links:

Breathing Spell | The New London Day, October 3, 1951

Nationalism And Oil | The Argus, June 22, 1951

Iran Now Is Suffering | The Albuquerque Journal, March 29, 1952

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

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