Grief and Optimism

August 21, 1951 — The Utica Observer-Dispatch

The Mossadegh Project | July 17, 2015                    

A sober editorial from the early days of oil nationalization in The Utica Observer-Dispatch (Utica, New York).

Not Pure Oil

Iran’s Premier Mossadegh said yesterday he was more optimistic about settling the oil controversy in his land. The statement followed a long talk with W. Averill Harriman [sic—Averell Harriman] and the British Negotiation Committee which is trying to get production resumed for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. [AIOC]

But there may be more to this optimism than British or American smooth talk. Iran is finding out that the oil well seizure is not pure and simple oil. A lot of grief came with the prize package grabbed from the hands of English stockholders.

There are informed reports that Iran, now having lost leadership in oil sources, may never regain its high ground as fourth in the petroleum field. Already, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and the U.S. are filling needs formally addressed to Abadan. The vast tanker service which once carried Iranian oil is now dispersed all over the world. It would take months to get the shutdown at Abadan transformed into former production.

These developments, and the lack of sales receipts, may be worrying Mossadegh and other Iranian Nationalists to the point where they look for signs of settlement. If that is so, then their optimism is warranted because they have held the key to production and if they want it enough they can arrange it.


Related links:

More Sour Diplomacy | The Utica Observer-Dispatch, January 6, 1952

Time Favors Mossadegh On Oil | The Herald Statesman, March 27, 1953

Oil and Iran | The Times Record, August 26, 1952

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

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