Iran May Go Behind the ‘Iron Curtain’
August 3, 1952 — Drew Pearson

The Mossadegh Project | April 4, 2014                    


An excerpt from The Washington Merry-Go-Round column by famed muckraker Drew Pearson on Sunday, August 3, 1952.




Another Moscow Victory?


Drew Pearson There was a lot more than meets the eye behind the sudden comeback of aged, cantankerous Mohammed Mossadegh as premier of Iran.

First, it was a decisive defeat for American diplomacy. Second, it could mean that the Shah of Iran will go the way of the king of Egypt.

What happened was that the Shah had finally got up nerve to do what he should have been doing long ago. He fired Mossadegh, [wrong—he resigned] replacing him with Ahmed Qavam, [Ahmad Ghavam] staunch foe of Russia, who immediately pledged publicly that he would settle the oil dispute with England and thus restore Iranian economy.

Following this, U.S. Ambassador Loy Henderson, the Kansas boy who has become one of the State Department’s top experts on the Middle East, called on Qavam and promised him a large American loan in order to help clean up the mess Mossadegh left behind.

Henderson also called on the Shah, warned that the Communists, in league with fanatical Mossadegh followers, would try to overthrow the government. So the ambassador begged the Shah to give Qavam the power to call out the army, arrest the ringleaders, and smash the riots.

The Shah promised that he would, but immediately got cold feet.

Word leaked out that he had changed his mind and that the new Premier could not call out the army. The result was wholesale riots. Mossadegh followers and Communists took over without fear of reprisal. Qavam barely escaped with his life.

Mossadegh will get no financial aid from the U.S.A. until he cleans up his dispute with the British but the danger is from religious fanatic Mullah Kashani, who has been playing footsie with the Communists. Continued unrest and economic depression in Iran is almost certain to suck it behind the Iron Curtain.


Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954
Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954

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Related links:

U.S. Urged to Back Up Britain in Refusing to Let Iran Humiliate the West | Oct. 15, 1952

Iran Offers Almost Hopeless Problem | Constantine Brown, September 8, 1952

Iran Shah May Be Ousted | Inside Washington, October 22, 1952



MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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