IRAN: “Saved For the West”
August 19, 1953 — The Monroe News-Star
“The Shah is a well educated man who has his people in mind, far more so than the idiotic crying prime minister, who even now, with his foolishness, has hastened the end of his nation.”
From day one, the U.S. press was fully supportive of the overthrow of Premier Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran. The flood of triumphant pro-Shah editorials that immediately followed, in fact, all sounded pretty much the same.
This lead editorial in the Monroe, Louisiana newspaper The News-Star seems typical too, yet, like a particularly tall giraffe, it just stands out a little more from the tower (that’s what you call a group of giraffes).
Its highly propagandistic tone was extreme even for the time, and some of the mistakes (and outright fabrications) appear to be unique.
Perhaps most striking, though, is the naked sense of entitlement on display. To the editors, Iran and its resources were things “the West” had a natural right to exercise dominion over. Some attitudes die hard.
Crisis In Iran
Premier Mossadegh had struck again. He had apparently wiped out the Shah’s power, and that young ruler and his beautiful wife [Soraya] had departed the scene, fleeing into Iraq as the “crying premier” jailed his opponents in the best traditions of any dictator.
Outside the building housing what used to be the parliament, shouted an angry Communist-led mob which demanded the end of rule by the monarchy. This is precisely what Doctor Malenkov ordered, [Russian Premier Georgy Malenkov] and Mossadegh, the dutiful pharmacist was attempting to fill his prescription.
The end of the era of Western importance in Iran was here. Mossadegh, who is now convinced that the winning side must be the Soviet side, [according to who?] had hastened to complete treaties with the Soviet Union, treaties which guarantee certain concessions. [We know of no such treaties] It is wondered whether these concessions could be oil and the right of passage for Soviet troops? If the Soviet Union was fooling Mossadegh, it fooled not the remainder of the free world in its intentions. Obviously, oil is the main factor in the minds of the Russian rulers, and Mossadegh would be thrown aside, probably murdered when and if that method enters the plans of the Communists, if indeed, it is already not scheduled.
The entire affair came about when it was reported that the Shah had given one of his generals [Col. Nematollah Nassiri] a decree ousting Mossadegh and, in his place, putting the general. [Actually, Gen. Fazlollah Zahedi was to replace Mossadegh, not Nassiri] Mossadegh heard about the coup and called out the troops and the American Sherman tanks to quell the “rebellion.” [didn’t happen] Thus, American equipment had again been used to set up a dictatorship, one dedicated to cooperation with the Communists, and giving a cold shoulder to the West. [Mossadegh had in fact tirelessly appealed to the U.S. for support. He got the “cold shoulder” in return.]
In any case, the “rebel” general [Zahedi] had been ordered shot, [untrue] and as he still is in hiding, the border guards have been ordered to keep a “stiff alert” in efforts to catch him. In Tehran, the government, or administration of Mossadegh, had appointed a “regency council” to take the affairs of the Shah in hand, and Mossadegh, to insure his power, has dissolved parliament.
This risky situation has more than one terrible outcome in store for the future of the free nations. If the unrest and dissension inside the nation can upset Mossadegh, and the Communists are now bending all efforts to that outcome, they can have the great Iranian oil industry sewed up, and the main “holdup” on the Communist timetable will have been negated.
Thus, the oil of Iran may decide whether or not the war starts sooner or later.
It is a known fact that those who cooperate with the Communists never win out. [there was no alliance with the Communists] In fact, they generally face the firing squad when the Communists take over. [Instead, scores of Iranian communists, along with Foreign Minister Hossen Fatemi, faced the Shah’s firing squad after the coup] There is no reason to believe that Mossadegh can survive for long at the present rate of his nation’s decline. It has been a real political and economic miracle as to how Mossadegh’s government has maintained itself these many months when there was no income from the oil industry.
Mossadegh had begun to rule by decree. The Communist mobs shout “death to the Shah and his dynasty.” The Iranian government sounded not a great deal different from the Communists when it accused the Shah of being a “traitorous snake” who “fled to the nearest British embassy”. [referring to words of Hossein Fatemi after troops stormed his house in the middle of the night] In old-time dictator style, pictures of the Shah have been stoned. [By whom? And how exactly is this Mossadegh’s responsibility?]
All this because the Shah knew that his nation could not survive without the aid of the Western nations and because he knew that without income, his tortured nation could not survive at all. [They don’t realize that he did so under intense pressure of the U.S. govt., who threatened his demise if he did not cooperate with their coup plot] The Shah is a well educated man who has his people in mind, far more so than the idiotic crying prime minister, who even now, with his foolishness, has hastened the end of his nation.
He knew that the great nation to the North was preparing the enslavement of the Iranian people, and therefore, he used his legal act to unseat the Mossadegh clique and the premier, who are bringing the nation so loved by the Shah to its destruction.
This was on Monday.
Today is another day in this amazing world, and it would now appear that the Shah’s power was stronger than “Papa” figured it to be. [Papa is Mossadegh??] At the time of this editorial’s going to press, the Shah’s supporters and the army have taken the Iranian government if the latest bulletins even now, not fully confirmed can form a basis of the truth.
It may be that the Shah has saved his nation for the West as that could be the only method of accomplishing this deed. If his supporters can really regain control of the government and end the irresponsible Mossadegh’s rule, a new day may yet dawn for Iran. The Shah loves his people. He is not the British slave Mossadegh’s supporters claim him. He will in all probability, return to his nation and attempt to restore some form of tranquility before it is too late, if indeed, it is not already.
If the bulletins are true, and it is hoped that they are, Iran, its oil and its great territory, will be saved for the West and a blow against communism will be struck.
The eyes of every American should be turned in the direction of Iran this afternoon as events there are changing as fast as the second hand can speed around the clock. These events can change the world in which you live. [That’s for sure!]
ORIGINAL SIN: The 1953 Coup in Iran Clarified | by Arash Norouzi
Mossadegh Loses Long Fight — The Spokane Daily Chronicle, August 19, 1953
Things Looking Up For Iran And The West — The Daily Republic, August 20, 1953
Change In Iran — The Kingsport Times, August 20, 1953
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”