The Lockport Union-Sun & Journal newspaper, serving Lockport, New York and eastern Niagara county. Editorial dated Wednesday, July 28, 1954.
Iran To Russia: “Hands Off!”
Both literally and figuratively the Communists are getting away with murder in Asia, with the big powers unable or unwilling to stop them. It is the more refreshing to see little Iran standing up courageously to Soviet Russia in the Middle East.
Moscow had sent Iran a note of protest, in effect warning her not to join the mutual defense pact negotiated by Turkey and Pakistan, at opposite ends of the Middle East line.
General Zahedi’s government promptly retorted that Iran would join regional groups authorized by the United Nations Charter whenever the government found such alliances were in its interest. The reply asserted vigorously that Iran "is entitled to take all measures that it judges desirable with a view to insuring its security and the defense of its independence and integrity."
The sharply worded note shows a welcome change of attitude from that of previous anti-West governments under ex-Premier Mossadegh and others. It indicates also that despite the unhappy events in Indochina, small countries have not lost faith in the West's ability and readiness to protect them—for otherwise tiny Iran would hardly have spoken so boldly to her giant neighbor.
The demonstration at once encourages the free nations and imposes on them a renewed obligation. In particular they must do whatever is possible, by a Southeast Asia commitment and other moves, to minimize the effect of the Indochina defeat upon countries which may not be so courageous as Iran.