The "International Crisis" Stirred in Abadan
August 11, 1952 — United Press [UPI]
Iran Is Headed Toward Disaster
By PHIL NEWSOM
United Press Foreign News Editor
From the United States’ standpoint, Iran is heading toward disaster. With it could go some $23,000,000 of Point Four aid down the drain. With it also could go another into the roster of nations taken by Russia without lifting a finger.
Devoted To Nationalism
About a year and a half ago, Iran decided to nationalize her oil industry. It meant the seizure of the Abadan Anglo-Iranian oil refinery worth some $700,000,000. It meant the abrogation of a contract due to run to about the year 2000.
Annually, to Iran, it meant the loss of more than $102,000,000, or nearly one tenth of her income.
Started An International Crisis
Incidentally, it meant also the loss of employment to some 13,000 Iranians.
It meant an international crisis which has changed since only in that it became worse.
Iran’s economy has dropped to the point that even state automobiles have been garaged for lack of gasoline.
Meanwhile, Iran’s oil wells, in the midst of the greatest oil pool in the world, have been deteriorating. The great Abadan refinery probably could not resume full production for more than a year because of sabotage and the damage that has come from a year of disuse.
Politically, Iran has come under virtual dictatorship in the person of Iran’s weeping premier, Mohammed Mossadegh. He is flanked by Iran’s most powerful religious leader Seyed Kashini [sic — Kashani], who has welcomed the help of the outlawed Communists and who once was himself implicated in an attempt to assassinate the shah.
How close Iran is to anarchy was seen only three weeks ago when more than a score died in the bloody demonstrations led by Kashini [Ayatollah Kashani], which in turn led to the British-hating Mossadegh’s restoration as premier.
Shah Is Powerless
The Shah, friendly to the U.S. but weak, has been pushed virtually into the role of a non-entity.
The Shah’s own land reform program, wherein he began turning his millions of acres-over to the peasants, and the United States’ $23,000,000 attempt to help agriculturally-backward Iran has been shoved into the background.
With the loss of Iran’s oil revenues and the subsequent upset of her economy, any other moves to help became as zero.
In the meantime, Anglo-Iranian, owned partly by the British government, stood adamant in her demand that Iran live up to her contract.
It was against this background that both the United States and Britain sought this week to brings settlement to the oil crisis. The spectre haunting them was Russia.
Lack both of adequate transportation between Iran and Russia and a suitable excuse temporarily prevented the Reds from making an open move. There were indications that Joe Stalin didn’t believe he had to – that Iran would fall as a ripe plum by itself.
Mossadegh’s Break With Britain Can Lead Only To Disaster — Brooklyn Eagle, Oct. 18, 1952
Power Hungry Mossadegh — The Morning Herald, August 19, 1952
Fluid Iranian Situation Might Still Be Dangerous — Bruce Biossat, August 28, 1953
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”