What’s the Story Behind This Nervy, Suspicious Iran Letter?
This sarcastic letter to the editor, dated the day of the 1953 coup in Iran and published in The Philadelphia Inquirer four days later, was apparently intended as a wisecrack, but augured far more than it let on. The sender, as they say, really hit it on the button...
The Inquirer’s letters section, "Voice of the People", generously permitted readers the option of signing under pseudonyms referencing an occupation (“PATROLMAN”), or even a mood (“WORRIED”).
In his expeditious message, Mr. Irate cheered the demise of the “weepy” Iranian Prime Minister, though a more suitable nickname might have been “CHEEKY BASTARD”...
But waiiiit just a second here! What’s the deal with this identical letter to The Binghamton Press published one week later?
An explanation for these twin letters obviously exists — the trouble is, there may never be any way of unprying it. The only tool left available, therefore, is logic....
Could it have been a single writer, who simply sent the same message to multiple newspapers? Of course that is possible, but Binghamton, New York and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, despite being only 185 miles apart, are two completely different places. Besides, each letter supposedly originated from Philadelphia, PA and Endicott, NY respectively, assuming they were telling the truth.
A more likely scenario — based on what we now know about the true nature of the 1953 coup in Iran — is that these letters had some connection to U.S. government propaganda. Sure, it may seem dubious, but the idea that these duplicate letters just magically wound up in two (or more?) U.S. newspapers in the same week, with no conspiratorial backstory, is no less questionable.
Did U.S. and Britain Plan the Overthrow of Mossadegh? — Weekly People, August 29, 1953
Uncle Sam Had Finger In Successful Iranian Revolt — Fulton Lewis, Jr., October 8, 1953
The Iran Coup — The Lethbridge Herald, August 20, 1953
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”