August 27, 1953 — The Saratogian
Days after the coup, The Saratogian devoted a lead editorial to rehabilitating Iran’s dire financial condition in their section "As We See It — What’s Your Reaction?". Their advice was unusual for recommending that Iran not receive U.S. relief money, putting the onus on Britain to allow the country to climb out of its economic hole on its own.
The Saratoga Springs, New York newspaper, originally founded in 1854, was owned at the time by its president and publisher, Frank Gannett.
Iran Needs Chance To Earn Its Way
RETURN OF THE SHAH of Iran from a week’s exile
and establishment of a government apparently somewhat
less fanatical than that of the deposed
give western powers an opportunity to show just
how vital is the stability of this key to the Middle East.
looked into the national treasury when he came home and found, as
was expected, that the cupboard was bare. The mystery has been how
Mossadegh held Iran together for the two years since he seized the
British-owned oil industry, Iran’s only visible means of support.
That mystery was cleared somewhat—though there is
a chance that the disclosures were aimed to discredit
Mossadegh—by the revelation that his government had
dipped deeply into the civil servants’ retirement fund and
cash reserves of government-owned enterprises to pay
NOW THE SHAH SAYS that Iran is in imperative
need of financial aid from some foreign source, not in
months or weeks but “in a matter of days.” That is, the
August payrolls have to be met. He was careful to add
that no “concessions” would be made in exchange for aid.
A realistic policy must accept the view that anything
that could be construed by the Iranian people as yielding
to British pressure or as relying upon American patronage
would soon revive the popular fanaticism that Mossadegh
exploited. If the stability of the Middle East matters most,
two points seem obvious in these circumstances.
1. Britain must put no obstacles in Iran’s way and
should withdraw the oil blockade which it has maintained
since nationalization. This would mean forgetting,
at least until Iran sobers up, the British financial losses
in the Iranian oil fields.
2. American cash aid would both be unwelcome
and a temporary remedy at best.
GIVING IRAN A CHANCE to earn its way by lifting
the blockade would be a long step toward stabilizing
the country. But it should be noted that this would not be
all gain. As The Financial Times of London says:
“The truth is that there is no room in the world oil
market for the 30 million tons that Persia, (Iran) could
produce. Room could be made for it only by cutting back
production elsewhere, which would touch off political problems
just as explosive as any Persia has to offer. Indeed,
it seems that Persia’s problem can be solved only by creating
fresh political resentment somewhere else.”
Nevertheless, the solution is not a matter for an international
oil cartel to settle.
The stability of the Middle East is the main point.
That matters more than preserving the oil production and
marketing arrangements that were hastily devised when the
Iranian supply was abruptly cut off.
"Neglected Treasure" — U.S. editorial, August 25, 1953
"IRAN: Emergency Aid" — TIME magazine, September 14, 1953
"No Room For Haggling" — The Boston Herald, September 2, 1953
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”