Making Iran Safe For Democracy
August 21, 1953 — Reading Eagle
Behold this fascinating, highly propagandistic lead editorial in The Reading Eagle newspaper of Reading, Pennsylvania (Berks County), published two days after the violent overthrow of Mossadegh. The fifth paragraph contains a real doozy!
Iran Faces West
This week revolution and counter revolution made some changes in Iran which were sudden and surprising. On Tuesday the rule of Mohammed Mossadegh appeared to be ended. By force of arms and a popular uprising, Royalists broke the power that the aged Premier had been wielding against the democratic nations of the world.
Only a few days earlier the picture was entirely different. The government had been overthrown. The Shah had fled the country. And the Western Powers were gloomily counting Iran as lost to the democratic world.
The turn of events has given the American people cause for jubilation. Had Iran fallen into the undisputed possession of Mossadegh and his followers, the two-year-old seizure of British oil and refinery properties would have been perpetuated for a long time. But what is more important to the United States is that the Premier would have set an example which other oil-rich Middle East peoples could have been expected to follow.
Many American dollars are invested in that part of the world. However, it would not be the loss of investments, but the withdrawal of the oil itself from the democracies that would have been most painful. Not only does our prosperity, and the economies of other democratic nations, depend to a great degree upon our ability to have access to the world of the Middle East, but it is equally true that our military security could be vastly impaired by the loss of that resource.
Neither Iran as a nation nor its oil as a natural resource can long remain in a political and economic vacuum. The overthrow of the Shah and the speedy downfall of Mossadegh is a warning that not only that nation, but all the nations of the world, must chart their course by a single issue. Either communism or democracy must be their choice. Mossadegh left no doubt that he had chosen the former. But the Shah is a friend of the West.
Future events may again change the picture in the troubled Near East. However, while our nation dare not let its guard down or relax its efforts to block Red aggression, at this point we of the Western world have new reason to be hopeful, if not optimistic.
We prefer to believe that the oil dispute between Iran and Britain now will be adjusted to the benefit of both nations. We may hope that other teetering countries, especially those in what is known as the “Moslem bloc,” will follow the course to which the people of Iran now seem to be committed. We also can find comfort in a demonstration of the people’s ability to unseat dictators and look for history to repeat itself on a broader area.
Things Looking Up For Iran And The West — The Daily Republic, August 20, 1953
Crisis in Iran — The Monroe News-Star, August 19, 1953
Iran—The Chance For Charity — The Deseret News and Telegram, August 20, 1953
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”