United Press International (UPI) editorial from Tuesday, July 31, 1956 compares Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had nationalized the Suez Canal Company, with the then imprisoned Mossadegh.
Trying Mossadegh's Tactics
The next few days when the western powers formulate their joint policy against Egypt may decide whether President Nasser will carry his revolutionary regime to new heights of popularity in Egypt—or whether he will become another Mossadegh.
Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, the weepy old former premier of Iran, twisted the lion's tail in 1951 when he nationalized the British-owned Anglo-Iranian oil company. He ended up ill, in jail and in disgrace. Nasser followed that pattern Thursday when he nationalized the Suez Canal Company. It was a stunning action but whether he has the diplomatic and political skill to make it stick will only be known later, observers said.
Mossadegh's gamble lost. Oil production ceased in Iran and the nation's economy plunged into chaos. The fragile and sad-eyed old man ended up in jail two years later.
Mossadegh was sentenced to three years imprisonment for treason against the Shah, but the real reason for his downfall was his failure to make nationalization work.
By an irony of fate he will be released from his term at solitary confinement at a time when Nasser is rising to new heights of popular acclaim in Egypt. A high security official told United Press in Tehran the British-hating Mossadegh would be freed Sunday.