Stage Door Mossy
March 5, 1953 — The Times Record

The Mossadegh Project | June 21, 2016                         

Most U.S. newspapers indulged in mirthful diversions when discussing the dramatic No’he Esfand episode in Iran. The Times Record of Troy, New York was no exception.


So much has happened in Iran since Mossadegh took over as Prime Minister two years ago and, as one of his first acts, nationalized the oil industry, setting in motion a series of events that defy rationalization, that one might suppose that little in the way of surprise was left to emerge from this fabulous land.

But it has and as events develop it takes on more and more of Arabian Nights substance. It has all the elements of a comic opera of the sort that one might wish Gilbert and Sullivan were alive to record. The raw material is there. All that is needed is for someone to make sense out of it, write the lyrics and compose some tuneful melodies.

Here we have old Mossadegh, the fainting specialist, fleeing from his house in his pajamas, taking refuge under the American Flag, which can’t even protect its own citizens nowadays.

Then we have the young shah, weeping from the balcony of his palace, and promising his followers to reconsider his decision to leave the country for a while.

There are also the mobs, incited by the sinister Moslem fanatic, Mullah Kashani, surging through the streets shouting “Death or the Shah,” counter screamers shouting “Death or Mossadegh,” ousted army officers plotting a coup d’etat, and the Majlis, or tower house of Parliament, holding midnight sessions behind closed doors.

And lurking in the background is the outlawed Communist Tudeh Party, ready to leap on somebody’s bandwagon at the propitious moment.

All that is needed are the beauteous dancing girls—which we may be sure are lurking in the background but are not mentioned in the dispatches—to complete the setting for a light opera score.

Yes, we sure wish Gilbert and Sullivan were alive to do the job as it ought to be done.

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


Related links:

Iranian Tragicomedy | The Santa Cruz Sentinel, March 2, 1953

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

O, Shah! | The Chicago Daily Tribune, March 4, 1953

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

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