Funny or Die
March 2, 1953 — The Santa Cruz Sentinel
The Santa Cruz Sentinel , a Northern California newspaper, heaped ridicule on the Iranian Premier in a 1953 editorial following the No’he Esfand episode in Iran.
Too bad Iran isn’t located somewhere in South America or on an island in the Carolines. Under those circumstances, the world could get a hearty belly laugh out of the shenanigans going on there, and no harm could result. As it is, the events in Teheran are a lot more serious than they are funny.
The headline-scanning newspaper reader may get a boot cut of old Mossadegh scooting around the corner from his bashed-in front door to the parliament building in his pajamas, and the Shah of all the Persians weeping bitter tears because his loyal people don’t want him to take a health vacation beyond the national boundaries, but while this comic-opera stuff transpires, a lot of serious diplomats in Washington and Whitehall are having fits of anxiety, and the Soviet ambassador to Iran is wearing out a platoon of couriers with top-secret messages for Comrade Vishinsky’s foreign ministry in Moscow. [Andrei Vishinsky, Soviet Ambassador to the United Nations.]
Ever since Mossadegh started pulling his unorthodox antics, our own side has been afraid that some day, he’ll go too far, and the result will not only be the sudden demise of Mossadegh, which we could bear with composure, but the strengthening of the Tudeh party, which we couldn’t. For a long time, Russia has been ready to cause a major uprising in Azerbaijan, the northern provinces of Persia, whenever it is convenient for her. But the real goal, of course, are the Iranian oil resources, and since Mossadegh was good enough to take them away summarily from the British, the Soviets have been applauding from the side lines, figuring that they can deal with the old crank at their own leisure. The affair of the bombing of the Soviet legation in Tel Aviv and the subsequent rupture of diplomatic relations between Israel and Russia demonstrated clearly what the Soviets are up to now.
Both Russia and the U.S. are feverishly wooing the Arab world, which controls the Middle East with its oil and its Suez canal and its vital geopolitical position. As the Balkans constituted the powder keg of Europe for decades prior to World War I, so the Middle East is rapidly shaping up to fulfill a similar role in the preparation or prevention of World War III.
Our side has a long way to go until the situation can become a little more favorable for us. Meanwhile, neither Mossadegh’s pajamas nor the Shah’s crocodile tears are a laughing matter. It is now a private pleasure, to be indulged in one’s own bathroom or on solitary walks.
Iran Army True to Shah — The Jamestown Post-Journal, April 15, 1953
Pants For Mossy — The Chicago Daily Tribune, March 4, 1953
‘Shout With the Biggest’ — The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 5, 1953
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”