Nasrollah Entezam Interviewed on Race
The Courier — November 15, 1952
This interview with United Nations Ambassador Nasrollah Entezam ran on the front page of The Courier, the national edition of major black newspaper The Pittsburgh Courier, in November 1952. It focused on the matter of solidarity in a world of racial prejudice and subjugation, particularly the apartheid problem in South Africa.
The Iranian oil crisis had been of particular interest to the Courier’s Horace Cayton, who wrote a series of sympathetic columns on the subject. Entezam himself, however, was a royalist at heart who joined the coup government of the Shah which sabotaged Iran’s liberation struggle in the summer of 1953.
Pledges War on Discrimination
Gives Support To Negro People
By HORACE CAYTON
[Saturday, November 15, 1952]
(Courier UN Correspondent)
UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. — Iran’s Ambassador to the United States, Nasrollah Entezam, told the Courier this week that his nation’s UN delegation would “support any fight against prejudice in any part of the world.”
Mr. Entezam is chairman of the Iranian Delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Iran to the United States.
Mr. Entezam was president of the fiftieth session of the General Assembly.
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IRAN IS one of the important countries of the Arab-Asian-African bloc. She is violently anti-colonial. In recent months Iran has been on the front pages of the papers of the world because of her dispute with England over the oil refineries in her country.
When asked why his delegation voted for the question of the examination of racial friction in South Africa being put on the agenda, Mr. Entezam stated:
“The reason is a simple one: We are against all forms of discrimination and racial prejudice. It is plainly and simply the duty of all members of the United Nations who have ratified the United Nations Charter to fight against discrimination.
“It is our idea to always fight race prejudice and to see that situations where prejudice exists are combatted before they lead to more difficulty. We did not bring this question of prejudice in South Africa up for political reasons. We brought it up because we saw an injustice and a violation of the UN charter.
* * *
“THIS CASE happens to be in Africa, but we would support any fight against prejudice in any part of the world.
“We, our delegation, would help people who are seeking to their freedom and independence. We in the Middle East countries have our freedom. But we would be selfish and short-sighted if we were not interested in the problems of other people who had not yet gotten their freedom.
“We have already proposed the action to be taken by the United Nations. We have proposed to create a Committee of Good Offices to help the interested parties come together on the issue.
“This is an important question before the General Assembly. When the freedom of a people is involved it is always an important question.”
“UNTIL RECENTLY only the question of the mistreatment of Indians in South Africa was brought to our attention. Then we saw that the South African Government was taking measures against the Negro people and so we saw our duty to give our full support to the Negro people to see that they received justice.
It is difficult to say, at this time, how successful we will be. The only success which the Arab-Asian-African bloc has won so far has been the placing of the Morocco-Tunisian and the South African questions on the agenda.
“The test will be when the debates open and we see just what action the General Assembly will take. Of course we hope for full success.”
P. L. Prattis (The Pittsburgh Courier) Links Black American and Iranian Liberation in 1953
Letters to The Afro-American newspaper about “white imperialism” (1951)
British Blind To New Era In Mid-East — Letter to The Binghamton Press, June 24, 1951
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”