No More Ultimatums — Or Else
September 13, 1951 — U.S. Editorial

The Mossadegh Project | July 25, 2013     

Non-syndicated piece which ran in the editorial section of newspapers coast to coast between around Thursday, September 13 and Thursday, September 28, 1951. A couple of papers titled it Extremism Is No Solution.


The ultimatum is not a device calculated to smooth the progress of diplomatic discussion. Britain undoubtedly made a mistake when its representative at the recent Iranian oil talks handed an “or else” statement to Premier Mossadegh.

Mossadegh now has chosen to compound the error by issuing an ultimatum to Britain resume talks within two weeks or get your technicians out of the oil refinery at Abadan.

There’s no question that Mossadegh, irked by Britain’s ultimatum and driven by his country’s extremists, felt it necessary to be utterly unbending in attitude. But when he broke off the talks he found he had gone too far. Many members of the Iranian parliament did not support that move.

Nor do they support his current ultimatum. Unable to win approval of the lower chamber, Mossadegh has insisted upon flinging the gauntlet to Britain anyway.

What is needed is a less stiff-backed manner on Britain’s port, and an Iranian team on the other side which is not goaded by fear of assassination into acts of wild, unreasoning extremism. It’s possible those conditions might never exist so long as Mossadegh is premier.

Related links:

Deadlock In Iran — U.S. Editorial, September 17, 1951

HolocaustThe Citizen-Advertiser, October 18, 1951

Adding Insult To Injury — U.S. Editorial, May 26, 1951

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

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