AP report from Thursday, August 14, 1952, about land reforms under Premier Mossadegh.
Iranians Look To a ‘New Deal’
Iranian Peasants See ‘New Deal’
Iran’s Landlords Ordered
To Share with Peasants
Tehran, Iran — (AP) — Iran’s downtrodden peasants looked forward today to a “new deal”—an extra 10 percent cut from the giant-sized landlord’s share of what they produce.
The decree ordering a better break for the nation's poverty-stricken sharecropping farmers was issued yesterday by Premier Mohammed Mossadegh.
It also specified that the landlords must deposit another 10 per of the income from their estates in special rural banks to aid needy farmers.
The decree was the first of a series of reforms promised by the aged Nationalist leader when Parliament this week granted him the right to rule with near dictatorial powers for six months.
The first decree is expected to take some of the wind out of Communist propaganda blasts for land and agricultural reforms. Most of Iran's arable land is owned by a comparative handful of large land holders.
Until now, Iranian peasants have received only a tiny share of what they produced on privately-owned estates. The exact amount varied, according to arrangements between the tenant and the landowner.
Mr. Mossadegh’s decree was highly technical and complex, and probably will need many clarifications before it can be put into full operation.
In general, however, it specified that, effective immediately, landlords must turn over 10 per cent of their share of the produce and cash income of their states to the tenants.
It added the rural banks, into which the landlords must deposit another 10 per cent, will be established shortly.
In addition to aiding hard-pressed farmers, this money will be used for water systems, improved sanitation, low cost housing, and aid to orphans, the decree declared. The government order also called for stiff fines for violations.
Mr. Mossadegh also was reported ready to levy a 2 per cent tax on landlords to meet the near-bankrupt government's bills. This tax would be in addition to the slash made in landlords' incomes for peasant aid.
Iran has been suffering financially since it nationalized the Iranian properties of the British-controlled Anglo-Iranian Oil Company last year, and the British retaliated with a blockade of Iranian oil. A large share of the government's income previously came from oil revenues.