The Sunday Times newspaper in Perth, Western Australia published the daily column As I See It by “Vee Cee”—whoever that was. Here are some excerpts pertaining to Iran...
September 2, 1951
THERE is a piquant reason being given for Persian Premier Mossadeq’s refusal to make a deal with Britain over the oil. Story is that he has been warned by Moslem fanatics that if he makes any more concessions to the British he will be shot. And so far threats to shoot high officials in Persia have been pretty thoroughly carried out. And Mossadeq still has a preference for keeping alive.
October 14, 1951
It looks as if the time is coming when the bigger Powers will have to consider whether it is worthwhile making treaties with the average small nation because, whereas a bigger Power cannot repudiate treaties, experiences with Egypt, Iran and others show that the minor partners to the agreement can call off a deal when it suits them. Gone are the days when any democracy wants to use force except in defence of its nationals, and the defaulters realise this. However, there is such a thing as economic pressure, and undoubtedly this weapon must be used more effectively if respect for obligations is to remain a part of international bargaining.
February 17, 1952
PERSIA’S Prime Minister Mossadeq, who has just been returned to power, still has a lot of problems to cope with apart from the oil question. [Just returned to power?] Living standards in Persia are particularly low, and the country functions under a kind of feudal system in which only the big land-owners, army chiefs and politicians do really well. There is a high rate of illiteracy and the poverty of the average Persian is pathetic. Mossadeq cannot continue to make capital out of hatred for the British and if he doesn’t tackle the economic position in his own country pretty soon there may be a real upsurge of Communism, not because the Persian are Communistically inclined, but because Communism to some people is today the policy of desperation.
July 27, 1952
HAPPENINGS in Persia during the last week or so indicate that all the blame was not on the British Government’s side in the recent oil troubles. Although it is generally admitted that the stubborness of a certain section of British officialdom and private enterprise militated against a settlement and gave fuel to the anti-British propagandists, the lack of balance in the Persians’ attitude is amply illustrated by the manner in which Mossadeq’s successor [Ahmad Ghavam] was treated and the panic clamor to have the erratic Mossadeq reinstated. Persians are obviously difficult people.
September 28, 1952
WESTERN Australians should be able to breathe more easily now that the finalising of the COR deal has removed a doubt that lingered persistently about the Anglo-Iranian refinery at Kwinana. There shouldn’t be any more reason for delay, particularly at Government level.
January 25, 1953
MAYBE Mossadeq’s improved attitude towards Britain is the result of the slump in his personal stocks in his own country. Of late the farmers have been restless over the lack of performance of the Premier’s many promises, and other sections of the community are also a little bit tired of promises without performance. Anything like a reasonable deal with Britain and America would be calculated to improve Mossadeq’s position at a time when improvement is apparently needed.
February 22, 1953
THE Soviet is doing its best to tighten its grips around the world. At any time there will be a Red-dominated bid to oust Mossadegh the Iranian premier, who has not gone as far as Stalin would like. Fanatical Moslem leader, Mulah Kashani, [sic—Ayatollah Kashani] is likely to be the man for the job. Red eyes are also on Iraq as being the most susceptible to Communist influence. In the meantime there is also evidence that the Mau Mau’s anti-white drive in Kenya is being directly financed and helped by Soviet agents in Ethiopia. Stalin certainly has a long arm when it comes to interfering in other places.
August 30, 1953
IT is too soon to assess the effects on the outside world of the change of control in Persia. Obviously the Shah and his advisers aren’t going to commit themselves in a hurry and as the oil is the only thing they have to bargain with, they will use it to the full. Russia will, no doubt, do her best to woo the new administration, but the diplomacy of the Democracies should be equal to a workable arrangement with the Shah. Mossadeq was one of those impossible characters with whom agreement was next to impossible.