Comedy of Errors
June 8, 1951 — The Saratogian

The Mossadegh Project | March 17, 2014     


The Saratogian has some fun with a recent news item in a lead editorial in their section "As We See It ó What's Your Reaction?" on Friday, June 8, 1951. Founded in 1854, the Saratoga Springs, New York newspaper was owned at the time by publishing boss Frank Gannett.



Narrow Escape!


JUST WHEN we were getting over the shakes caused by the Presidentís proclivity for penning pungent epistles, along comes a new rhubarb, as they say in sports circles.

Now it seems the State Department canít keep his letters straight when it comes time to deliver them. Tehran lifted the curtain on this diplomatic comedy of errors yesterday by announcing that the letter Mr. Truman wrote to Prime Minister Clement Attlee of Great Britain was delivered, by mistake, to Iranian Premier Mohammed Mossadegh.

By one of the most fortuitous miracles in the history of international boners, it came out all right. It seems the President said about the same thing in both letters so it didnít make much difference who got which. And the language was proper.

But supposing Mr. Truman had been in that mood. Imagine the Iranian Premier opening the letter and reading:

ďDear Clem: Now that Iran is a bad odor in the Near East, donít you go smelling it up any worse than you have to. Iím all for you, donít worry, and the next time I see that Mossadegh Iíll punch him in the eye. In the meantime keep your shirt on while I try to reason with the old goat, etc., etc.Ē

Worse still, imagine how that might have come out in Iranian when the interpreters got through with it!




Related links:

"Wrong Address" — U.S. editorial, June 11, 1951

Criticism of Truman's Foreign Policy in "The Fortnight" — The Freeman, July 30, 1951

"Thought on Mossadegh" — The Daily Illini, November 17, 1953



MOSSADEGH t-shirts — ďIf I sit silently, I have sinnedĒ

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