Terrorism as Political Weapon
August 9, 1952 — The Knickerbocker News
An editorial in The Knickerbocker News of Albany, New York — August 9, 1952.
TERROR IN IRAN
Government by assassination has been given official approval in Iran.
Premier Ali Razmara was slain in a crowded mosque a year and three months ago by one Khalil Tahmassebi. And it was his death that paved the way for all of the turmoil that has gripped Iran ever since.
Now the Iranian Chamber of Deputies has proclaimed Razmara a traitor and pardoned his killer. There was even a suggestion that the assassin be given a state pension.
What this means is that no Persian leader, present or future, can be free from intimidation by a fanatical minority of ultranationalists.
Much of the risk involved in assassination has been erased. Henceforth, the political gunman can hope, at least, for a swing in sentiment that not only will release him, but make of him a national hero.
Terrorism is not new, of course, as a political weapon. But seldom in history has it been given official sanction by the governing body of a state. Perhaps it would be necessary to go back to the time of the crusades and Hasan ibn-al-Sabah—The Old Man of the Mountain—to find a parallel.
Iran today is a nation berserk, headed for heaven-knows-where under the faltering guidance of an aged demagogue who has summoned up forces he canít control. Premier Mossadegh, as government chief, is himself a leading candidate for assassination the moment he disagrees with the fanatics.
It would be a most happy circumstance if the United States could ignore this whole affair, wash its hands of the mess until some semblance of order and responsibility is restored to Iran. But that unhappy nation is rich in oil, a fact we can't afford to forget. And Russia is after it.
In the position of global leadership which circumstances have thrust upon us, the people of America canít blind themselves to anything that goes on in the world.
IRAN: Time of the Assassin — TIME, December 1, 1952
Iranís Decade of Assassinations: 1946-1955
Case of Common Enemy — U.S. editorial, October 3, 1951
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — ďIf I sit silently, I have sinnedĒ