New York newspaper covering the city of Amsterdam and Montgomery County — lead editorial, Friday, August 21, 1953:
TURMOIL IN IRAN
Loyal supporters of Shah Reza Pahlevi have succeeded in sweeping Premier Mohammed Mossadegh out of power and seizing at least temporary control of Iran. Earlier in the week Mossadegh was the hero of mobs which swept through the streets of Tehran smashing statues of their monarch who had fled to Italy. Today the Shah is back in power and Mossadegh is reported held captive. Tomorrow — who knows?
Uprisings of this sort are nothing new for Iran. Mossadegh was driven out of power in July of 1952 by supporters of Ahmad Ghavam [utterly false – he voluntarily resigned]. But the cagy leader managed to marshal enough support, including the Tudeh Communists, to force Ghavam's downfall. At the time, the Shah, in control of the army, refused to defend Ghavam.
Since seizing power, Mossadegh's moves toward absolute one-man rule have been enthusiastically supported by the Communists. It goes without saying that the Reds must have been convinced that Mossadegh would eventually play into their hands or they would not have been so generous with their support. There is always a catch when the Communists lend assistance to a movement.
The Iranians have suffered from Mossadegh's wily machinations. When he ousted the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, he took the first step toward destroying his country's future. As a result of Mossadegh's rule-or-ruin policies, Iran is today on the brink of financial disaster.
The plight of Iran's former strong man will evoke little sympathy in the Western world. He attempted to play both ends against the middle and failed. But until the dust is settled in Iran it will be impossible for outsiders to draw a clear picture of exactly what happened and what may yet happen before the existing confusion is cleared away. Whether or not a new regime will be able to repair the serious damage done by Mossadegh only time will tell.