Mixed Metaphors
July 14, 1951 — The Times Record

The Mossadegh Project | November 2, 2015                     

W. Averell Harriman The Times Record newspaper of Troy, New York blended Middle Eastern folk tales with sports analogies in their Saturday evening editorial on the Harriman mission to Iran.

While they were probably just trying to be colorful, one might say their commentary contained a touch of mild Orientalism.


In the tales of the Arabian Nights problems could be solved with such handy devices as Aladdin’s lamp. When W. Averill Harriman, [sic—Averell Harriman] President Truman’s assistant, arrives in Teheran he will have plenty of oil on his hands, but no magic lamp.

Whether common sense can solve the problem we shall soon see. It is the one factor which has been missing all along in the Iranian oil industry dispute.

The British owner of the oil properties on one hand have been overly legalistic, and the Iranians have been overly emotional. Up to now the deadlock has threatened monumental loss to both sides. The Iranians would lose the oil income they sorely need, plus the know-how to operate the refineries; the British would lose their main source of oil, plus all hope of salvage and compensation for their properties.

The whole world—Western, anyway—will wish Mr. Harriman well. The West needs Iranian oil, just as it needs to keep Iran from Soviet control. At the same time, Premier Mossadegh must be shown that he courts disaster if he goes too far in playing the British off against the Reds.

So, lets hope common sense will pinch-hit successfully for Aladdin.

SAFER AT HOME: U.S. Implores Shah To Stay In Iran (Feb. 1953)
SAFER AT HOME: U.S. Implores Shah To Stay In Iran (Feb. 1953)

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Related links:

‘Shout With the Biggest’ | The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 5, 1953

Mr. Harriman’s Mission | The Buffalo Courier-Express, July 16, 1951

Harriman Faces Tough Task Solving Iranian Oil Dispute | July 15, 1951

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

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