Crazy Like A Fox
March 4, 1953 — The Kingsport Times
In this chatty 1953 editorial, The Kingsport Times newspaper in Tennessee, “An Independent Democratic Newspaper”, found the Iranian political landscape completely perplexing.
Among all the tangled political situations which are spotted over the world there is none more confusing than the picture in Iran. Iran, the land of the ancient Persians, with a tremendous history, seems almost to have become a comic opera state. But it isn’t comedy. It is tragedy.
The political situation in Iran is hard to follow because there are three groups, and it always seems like some two are pairing off to gang up on the other one. There is the Shah’s party, the party of Mossadegh, and the party of Kashani. [Ayatollah Seyed Abolghassem Kashani] In the recent uproar it seems that the Shah and Kashani were united in an effort to overthrow the premier. But if they succeeded which one would be on top? They have nothing in common except opposition to Mossadegh.
The history of modern Iran is packed in oil. It is oil that has made Iran of interest to the major powers. It is oil which is the source of her riches. It is the unequal distribution of these riches which has caused social unrest. When the economic level of a people remains low in spite of the fact that great natural resources have been discovered there is going to be social unrest. Eventually, those people are going to feel that it is they that are being exploited, not just the oil.
There are three schools of thought in Iran about the oil. One is that the British should be brought back and a satisfactory distribution made. This is the feeling of the Shah’s party. It may stem from the fact that if the old arrangements largely ignored the people, the ruling class, the royal family was well taken care of. At the other extreme is the fanatic anti-foreign party of Mullah Kashani. Whether or not Kashani is a willing tool of the Communists, if he gets political power, it will be to the Reds’ liking.
In between is the incredible Mossadegh, who is either a most consummate actor, or the luckiest man alive. Mossadegh publicly acts like a weakling, but that is show business. He’s crazy like a fox.
Mossadegh stands between the Shah and Kashani and at times he seems in danger of being crushed between them. But the Weeper can be called a pretty good bet to come out of each jam.
Tension in Teheran — The Indian Express, March 3, 1953
O, Shah! — The Chicago Daily Tribune, March 4, 1953
Trouble in Iran — The Morning Herald, March 5, 1953
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”