Hysterics & Histrionics
December 1, 1951 — The WORLD This WEEK
This unbylined opinion piece, coming on the heels of Mossadegh’s return home, was part of The WORLD This WEEK, a syndicated package of news and editorial content which ran in U.S. newspapers all over the country.
IN TEHRAN, an old man stood among a quarter-million Iranians cheering the return of Premier Mohammed Mossadegh from a 47-day trip to the U.S.
Exposed to Poll Test
The public welcome became super-emotional as the premier’s car moved through the crowd. The old man suddenly threw himself under the car and pulled out a big knife to cut his throat in oriental style sacrifice. He was rescued and restrained by police.
Such displays have marked the entire course of Iran’s program to nationalize its oil industry—an issue which has set off a sizzling chain reaction in the volatile Middle East. The histrionics have not been confined to the public, which has staged a series of demonstrations in support of Mossadegh’s nationalization policy. Government officials, notably the aged premier himself, have resorted to antics regularly.
Tears Win Again
This week, Mossadegh won a smashing vote of confidence in the Iranian parliament after a weeping appeal for support. While the Majlis (lower house of parliament) obediently reversed its earlier decision to delay parliamentary elections until Dec. 18. and voted to hold them immediately, crowds outside the building cheered hysterically.
Mossadegh was seeking a bold test of his oil nationalization regime. He promised there would be no compromise with the British on the oil question and said the 19,000,000 Iranians must tighten their belts and wage a battle of austerity with the British.
Victory for Mossadegh in the national elections, which normally take about three weeks, is by no means assured. There are many troubles ahead. The Communist Tudeh Party, which was reported this week to be putting up election candidates under false party labels, can be expected to provide a major share of them.
Knives For the Night — The Pittsbugh Post-Gazette, December 15, 1951
Stalemate on Iran — The Amsterdam Evening Recorder & Daily Democrat, Nov. 12, 1951
Mossadegh Snarled In Twin Dilemma — The WORLD This WEEK, September 6, 1952
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”