Oil Crisis in Iran Drags On...
September 17, 1951 — U.S. Editorial

The Mossadegh Project          

Non-syndicated piece which ran in the editorial section of newspapers across the country between around Monday, September 17, 1951 and Wednesday, September 26, 1951.

Deadlock In Iran

The oil crisis in Iran has dragged on even longer than the cease-fire talks in Korea, and the prospects for agreement do not look better. Impoverished Iran, promised untold wealth four months ago when Mossadegh put through his oil nationalization bill, finds that she has deprived herself of an important source of national revenue.

Opposition to Mossadegh, who has been unable as prime minister to fulfill the promises he made as a member of the Majlis, is rising. The Majlis is not ready, apparently to vote him out of office. But members have slaved away to keep from endorsing his proposed ultimatum to Britain.

The British are getting tough, too—in a socialist sort of way—figuring that is the best way to force Mossadegh's fall as prime minister. They have cut off Iran's dollar supplies, stopped or controlled her sterling transactions, frozen her $39,200,000 bank balance in London, and halted the sale to Iran of such scarce goods as sugar, iron, steel and alloys.

They don't take seriously Iran's threat to sell oil to the iron curtain countries. But Mossadegh is bypassing the Majlis to send his ultimatum, threatening to expel British technicians from Abadan unless Britain comes to terms.

In other times Iran would have been too weak to try such tactics on Britain. But in the present state of world affairs Britain, hamstrung by a socialist government, is helpless. Mossadegh, however, is staking too much on his gamble that the West must yield because it needs Iranian oil for security against Russia.

The Majlis is having misgivings. Despite assassination threats by the frenzied National Front, it is estimated that at least 20 percent would now vote against Mossadegh on a vote of confidence.

Related links:

“Iran's Break With Britain” — The Binghamton Press, October 18, 1952

“Iran Premier's Stubborness Brings Crisis” — The Brooklyn Eagle, September 12, 1951

“Iran Premier Tells Why Talks Failed” — AP, November 14, 1951

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

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