New York newspaper covering the city of Amsterdam and Montgomery County — Tuesday, August 18, 1953:
END AGAINST THE MIDDLE
Now that Premier Mossadegh appears to have made himself the absolute dictator of Iran, he can be expected to move for a new election without the assent of Shah Mohammed Pahlevi who has fled to Baghdad. It is significant that the revolt, in which the rival moves are still unclear, closely followed Premier Malenkov's offer of settlement of the Soviet-Iranian border and financial disputes.
For some time Iran has been playing both ends against the middle. Mossadegh has used the threat of Communism in his own country as a weapon to get what he wants from the West. He has used the opposite technique on the Russians. In a sense, Iran's greatest strength has been its weakness.
Driving the British from the Iranian oil fields amounted to a kind of economic suicide. Badly pressed for funds, Iran is in desperate need of an American loan. President Eisenhower recently turned down a personal request by Mossadegh, but the Iranian Premier apparently hopes to pressure Washington into reversing Itself.
For a time Iran may get away with playing Russia off against the United States. But the Soviets charge an extremely high price for pulling other countries' chestnuts out of the fire. Mossadegh talks a great deal about his nation's political and economic independence, but he could wake up one of these mornings to discover that he has sold that independence pretty cheaply.