September 27, 1952 — The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A pro-British editorial in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in Pennsylvania from Saturday, September 27, 1952.
Blackmail in Iran
BACK FROM IRAN after a look-see at the situation there, U.S. oil man W. Alton Jones warns that that country is “ripe for a Communist coup” unless the oil dispute between it and Britain is soon settled. Mr. Jones, who is president of Cities Service, went to Iran at the personal invitation of Premier Mossadegh. His visit had at first alarmed the British, particularly after the Iranian press ran evidently wild stories that Mr. Jones was there to make a deal for his company to manage Iran’s oil industry. No such deal has come about, but Mr. Jones does say there’s a possibility his company may in that relation want to do some business with Iran if the dispute, which has brought that country to near-bankruptcy, drags on much longer.
What is most interesting about Mr. Jones’ comments is that they further confirm the impression that Premier Mossadegh is playing with fire in Iran, Red-hot fire. The British understandably don’t want to bow to oil terms that they consider humiliating, if not piratical. They understandably object that Mossadegh’s latest oil offer should, as the London Economist says, take the line that “contracts are valid where they benefit [Iran] though invalid where they benefit Britain.” They understandably resent that this offer should be handed to them as a 10-day ultimatum.
Yet the fact remains that unless the British can settle with Iran, that country may, as Mossadegh puts it, “surrender itself to probable future events which would be to the detriment of world peace.” In other words, the Communists, whose Soviet master borders to the north, may take over in strategic Iran.
Mossadegh is of course pushing a blackmail racket against the British—and the United States—even at the risk of national suicide. But the United States—and the British—would in the end seem forced by security considerations to prevent that suicide.
OIL: Negotiations in Iran — TIME magazine, September 27, 1952
Knives For the Night — The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 15, 1951
Mossadegh’s Problem With Iran — The Brooklyn Eagle, August 24, 1952
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”