Editorial in The Times Record newspaper of Troy, NY — Monday evening, August 17, 1953. Their daily average circulation in July 1953 was 46,003.
MOSSADEGH ALONE AT LAST
Premier Mossadegh of Iran has reached the goal for which he has been aiming, sole authority over the country. Thanks to the bungling of Shah Pahlevi and his supporters, Mossadegh is ruling alone with no one in a position to challenge him.
Mossadegh’s course has been plain enough in recent weeks. Whereas he once passed as a fanatical patriot devoted to representative government, his every act betrayed ambition to set up a dictatorship.
Mossadegh crushed the religious leader who formerly was allied with him, Mullah Kashani, and forced him out of parliament. The premier abolished the Majlis by staging a farcical referendum in which dissent could be registered only by entering a separate voting booth labeled, “for traitors.” Mossadegh held the Shah under house arrest in the palace and forced him to surrender control of the army. [utterly false]
Now that the Shah has fled the country after an unsuccessful palace coup, Mossadegh is supreme. His opponents are crushed, are hiding in the mountains or in exile.
And how has Mossadegh managed to realize his ambition to dominate Iran? By destroying constitutional processes and by demolishing democratic institutions. His most ardent supporters are the Communists outlawed by previous regimes. Mossadegh has managed to create the perfect setup for a dictatorship, so he imagines. But the Communists are the power behind him. How long it will be before the Communists take over is a question, but few doubt that they will seize the opportunity Mossadegh has furnished.