Days of Glory Appear At End For Mossadegh

August 5, 1954 — United Press [UPI]

The Mossadegh Project | March 16, 2012                    

Mossadegh Forgotten Man
as Iran Looks To Prosperity

by Charles M. McCann
United Press Staff Writer

UPI - August 15, 1954 Old Mohammed Mossadegh, who started the Iranian oil crisis in 1952, [1951] must be feeling lonely and forsaken today in his cell in a Teheran prison.

The days of his glory, when he hurled defiance at Great Britain and the world, are over.

He is serving out a term of three years in solitary confinement for plotting to overthrow the Shah, trying to wreck the constitution and illegally dissolving Parliament.

He has lost appeal after appeal, and for the present at least he is almost a forgotten man.

Whether he will remain forgotten remains to be seen. Iranian politics are turbulent, and Mossadegh still has powerful support among the many Iranian extreme nationalists.

The extremists will not like the agreement which ends the long dispute over Iran’s nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co.’s holdings. They may try to wreck it.

But young Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi is popular and he has a loyal, strong prime minister in Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi.

If the government can make the oil agreement stick in Parliament, and can keep Mossadegh in prison until his term expires in 1956, it seems unlikely that he can make a comeback.

Mossadegh is 74 years old and in frail health. [He was 72]

Further, the oil agreement holds out for Iran the promise of greater prosperity than it ever has had in modern years. Men like Mossadegh, the dictator type, usually do not rise to power in good times.

It is possible to picture Mossadegh in his cell today, egg-bald, hook-nosed, looking somewhat like an aged turtle and probably wearing gray pajamas.

Mossadegh is partial to pajamas. He used to wear them in parliament sometimes, and appeared in them at his trial.

Mossadegh was named premier on April 29, 1951. His extremist National Front party had forced the oil nationalization bill through Parliament. It became law when the Senate approved it the day after Mossadegh became prime minister.

The way for his appointment had been eased when a nationalist fanatic assassinated a more moderate premier, Gen. Ali Razmara, on March 7, 1951. Mossadegh introduced his nationalization bill in Parliament the next day. Hussein Ala, another moderated who succeeded Razmara as premier, did not last long. [Hossein Ala]

Mossadegh kept Iran in turmoil until last August, when he forced the shah to flee into exile after a series of disputes. [No one forced him to flee] It developed that Mossadegh had outsmarted himself. He underestimated the popularity of the Shah. The army revolted, and six days after his departure the shah went back to Teheran in triumph.

Mossadegh was put on trial as a traitor last Nov. 8. He got his three-year prison sentence on Dec. 21. He felt very low and threatened to kill himself. But he is reported to be eating heartily now.

Alternate headlines:

Mossadegh Still Influential, But Comeback Held Unlikely
DAYS OF GLORY APPEAR AT END FOR MOSSADEGH — Former Premier is Forgotten Man Serving Term in Tehran Prison


Related links:

Oil Pact Insults Iran, Mossadegh Says In Jail — September 9, 1954

Big Iran Paper Hits MossadeghAP, May 18, 1952

Iran Indicts Mossadegh As TraitorAP, October 4, 1953

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

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