December 24, 1953 — The San Bernardino County Sun
Truly one of the most blindingly ignorant editorials we’ve ever come across is Mossadegh Treated Well from The San Bernardino County Sun.
The Southern California newspaper wasn’t alone in determining Mossadegh’s prison sentence lenient. Yet they distinguished themselves in another manner — literally mixing up a comment made by the Shah after arriving back in Iran, and attributing it to Mossadegh!
The Shah’s widely reported remarks upon returning to his bankrupt country after the successful coup raised eyebrows in the press (in fact, they even made front page headlines). His announcement that he would accept money from anyone—including the Soviets—had been made to reporters at his Tehran palace on August 24th, and were immediately distributed worldwide over the wire. Yet the editors chose to condemn Mossadegh for the remarks of his ouster in an embarrassingly error-ridden commentary which even confuses the season of the coup with autumn instead of summer. Obviously, accuracy and impartiality were not exactly the objectives here...
Mossadegh Treated Well
Temperamental, fainting former Premier Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran certainly should have no complaint about the treatment accorded him during his trial for treason, but the irascible old gentleman is never pleased, so he probably will not appreciate the lightness of his sentence. [He should be thankful to have been violently deposed in an illegal, foreign-inspired coup d’état by an aspiring dictator, mercilously slandered and nearly killed during the military siege on his home]
No doubt the court was greatly influenced by the intervention of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, who more than plainly indicated he wanted the fiery Mossadegh dealt with lightly. [The prosecution had asked for the death penalty. Initially, the Shah publicly branded Mossadegh “an evil man” and urged that he be executed — the fate of Foreign Minister Hossein Fatemi. ] It was possible for Mossadegh to have received the death penalty for his acts, but the Shah forestalled that by saying he would give him executive clemency. [In fact, according to Iranian law, Mossadegh was too old to receive capital punishment. Besides, the coup regime did not wish to make a martyr out of him]
The result was that Mossadegh received a sentence of three years in prison. [In solitary confinement, followed by lifetime house arrest] This was extremely light considering what may have developed out of his taking the government in his own hands and forcing the Shah to flee the country. [The Shah left on his own acccord after his attempted coup failed]
When the Shah asked Mossadegh to resign last fall, [Summer—August 16, 1953. The Shah’s decree was an order of dismissal, not a resignation request] the premier not only refused but also called the army to his side. The Shah fled and Mossadegh then began an open flirtation with the Soviet Union to keep his government alive. [Really! What did he say? What did he do?] He told the world that he would accept help, no matter from what source. [No he did not. These fools are confusing what the Shah said after the coup regarding Iran’s empty treasury, and attributing it to Mossadegh!] However, Iran was saved from becoming a Communist slave state, [what makes them so sure?] Mossadegh was overthrown and placed in prison.
Under the circumstances, his three-year term can be considered the acme of leniency. But the stormy old politician probably will look upon it otherwise. [Actually, in a display of polite sarcasm, Mossadegh “thanked” the court for his verdict]
SENTENCED TO HANG: Mossadegh’s Contrived Death Verdict
Mossadegh Will Live — The Times Record, December 26, 1953
Iran and U.S. — The Elmira Star-Gazette, August 28, 1953
Three-Year Term Gives World a Rest from Mossadegh — Buffalo Courier-Express, Dec. 1953
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”