Saved By the Hell
December 24, 1953 — The Times Record
An amazingly ignorant editorial in The Times Record of Troy, New York reacting to the treason trial verdict of the fallen Iranian Premier.
MOSSADEGH WAS LUCKY
Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, the turbulent ex-premier of Iran, may consider himself lucky and his Shah, against whose life and government he once conspired, merciful. [Sheer slander. Mossadegh did no such things] It is doubtful, however, that he would consider this if the situation in which he now finds himself were reversed.
Found guilty of most of the counts in the long indictment against him, including treason, he has been sent to prison for only three years for acts which might have cost him his life. [Three years in solitary followed by lifetime house arrest. Big difference.] Courts in that part of the world do not customarily deal so leniently with offences which can be labeled treason.
The sentence, though, could be considered adequate under the circumstances. It renders him harmless, and when it is served he will be neither a martyr or figure of influence. His remaining followers have no provocation to violent demonstration, and the Shah’s generous intervention on his behalf should help to soothe their feelings. [Pro-Mossadegh and anti-Shah demonstrations continued throughout the trial, after the verdict, and for years afterwards]
So the government has disposed of one of its problems, firmly but in a commendable spirit of moderation which should still further enlarge its support.
Its apparent firm hold on the situation was shown by the action for dissolving the old parliament and clearing the way for a new election. [One of Mossadegh’s ‘crimes’, ironically]
A new election seems imperative since the country has had only an impotent rump legislature for months, powerless to take any action on its pressing problems.
Interim financial measures to tide the country over until revenue begins to come in again from the stagnant oil industry need legislative sanction, as will the apparently impending settlement of the dispute with Britain.
General Zahedi [Fazlollah Zahedi] has moved slowly, but wisely and surely, and seemingly now has reasonable hope of a strong enough measure of popular support to permit an orderly transition from dictatorship to constitutional government and the sort of stable commonsense administration the country badly needs. [Make that from constitutional government to dictatorship, by design]
Canadian paper on Mossadegh: “A man who deserves no pity”
Mossadegh Treated Well — The San Bernardino County Sun, December 24, 1953
A Lenient Sentence — The Jamestown Post-Journal, December 23, 1953
Mossadegh Will Live — The Times Record, December 26, 1953
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”