October 23, 1952 — The Dixon Evening Telegraph
A frank editorial in The Dixon Evening Telegraph newspaper of Dixon, Illinois — Thursday, October 23, 1952.
Mossadegh’s Bad Gamble
In breaking off diplomatic relations with Great Britain, Premier Mossadegh of Iran has merely formalized a condition that already existed.
From the moment the Iranian oil crisis began Mossadegh has shown absolutely no disposition to deal with the British except on his own terms. Since these were almost totally unacceptable to the British, there never was any real basis for effective negotiation of Britain’s oil interests in Iran.
Mossadegh has gambled throughout this trying period on his belief that the West could not allow Iran to suffer too greatly, for fear it might fall prey to Russian communism. That is the foundation of his stubborn stand.
His severing of ties with Britain suggests he now understands that this strategy will not work as applied to the British. But it suggests also, that henceforth he is putting his reliance upon the United States. In other words, the Iranian premier seems convinced that America will not stand by and watch Iran sink into a financial abyss but will be compelled by the necessities of the world power struggle to rescue a tottering government.
For us this poses a dilemma. We indeed cannot blithely permit Iran to crumble and Russia to pick up the pieces. But neither can we move eagerly and positively to Mossadegh’s aid for in this course we would be sharply undercutting Britain’s position. And Britain is a greater ally in the world power contest than Iran, for all its oil.
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