October 18, 1952 — The Daily Examiner
The bias was strong in this lead editorial in The Daily Examiner of Grafton, New South Wales, Australia.
The decision by Dr. Mossadeq to break off diplomatic relations with Great Britain could have far-reaching implications. Although such action was expected when the oil crisis was at its height, Dr. Mossadeq in recent weeks appeared to have softened somewhat in his attitude, and to be prepared to discuss the problem in more reasonable terms.
The fanatical Prime Minister, an aged and ailing man with one mission in life—the expulsion of the British from Iran—has now taken the ultimate step, and decided to sever diplomatic relations with Great Britain. [Ridiculous ad-hominem attack]
It is difficult to see what benefit will accrue to the Iranian people from this extreme step. British capital and British skill has done much for Iran. Apart from the development of previously untapped oil fields, which provided employment for many thousands and millions for the Iranian Treasury, the British built schools and hospitals at Abadan.
But such tangible evidence of Great Britain’s goodwill and interest in the welfare of the Iranian people counts for nought with the Prime Minister of that divided country. Mossadeq can see nothing but evil intent in every approach made by the West and almost contemptuously rejected a top-level approach by Mr. Churchill and President Truman.
Mossadeq has now summoned Iran’s diplomatic mission back from Great Britain and given the British 10 days in which to close down the Embassy in Teheran. When that is done, a valuable Iranian link with the West will be closed. In his present anti-West mood, Mossadeq could readily decide to complete the job and close down the American Embassy as well. In recent months, when the forces he had unleashed seemed likely to get out of hand, Persian mobs stormed through the streets of Teheran demanding the expulsion of all Americans from Iran.
A mob has no logic. But it is on the mob that Mossadeq largely depends. The fact that British capital has benefited Iran considerably in the past means nothing to masses. Nor does the fact that the Americans in Iran are members of military and economic missions endeavouring to promote a better future for the nation.
The situation arising from the severing of diplomatic relations with Great Britain could be explosive. The possibility of an all-out oil war is very real, with the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company pushing ahead with a tremendous programme of development in the many substantial oil fields it still controls in the Middle East.
What the future holds is something that time alone will disclose. But nothing can be surer than that the developments of the past few days have strengthened still further the hands of disruptionists in the Middle East.