Sound Advice
August 13, 1952 — U.S. Editorial

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | December 26, 2014                     

Iran May Be Lost was published under the masthead of newspapers across the country, with no attribution, between around Wednesday, August 13th and Thursday, August 21, 1952. This atypical editorial begrudgingly endorsed upholding Mossadegh to help stave off a Soviet takeover of Iran.

The Kokomo Tribune (Indiana), on August 13th, ran it under the title Need Foresight in Iranian Relations. The next day The Winona Republican-Herald (Minnesota) went with Iran May Be Lost Unless We Step In.

Iran May Be Lost

It is with great reluctance that Americans and British consider backing Iranian Premier Mohammed Mossadegh on his own terms. But if we do not step in to fill a certain vacuum, the Russians probably will.

England is still smarting from the taking over of her oil refineries in Iran. She spends much time haggling over who owns what oil in whose ships some time sent from Iran. These legal questions do not stop the gradual deterioration of a small country, which, carrying a shaky economy, is ripe for a Red coup. It is rumored that Czechoslovakian trade committees are already inside Iran. The Communists want to be around when the iron gets hot enough to strike.

Perhaps Britain underestimates our desire to stop red expansion into Iran and down to the Red Sea. We are extending Point Four aid into Iran today, though some Iranians jeer at our hardworking crews.

England hesitates to condone Mossadegh’s position because in so doing she might encourage other countries of the Middle East. She does not like to see the Iranian premier rewarded for his anti-British action by receiving American aid. Still, there are influential backers of the movement to buck Communism in Iran. The Manchester Guardian has stated: “The whole effort of British Diplomacy in Persia should surely now be directed to convincing the Persian people that they can count on British help to better their conditions.”

In other words, when confronted with the choice of a possible new Russian satellite or a pro-western Persia, it behooves England to line up with America and add her prestige, influence and help in insuring Iran for the West.

Richard Stokes’ Second Thoughts on Iranian Oil (1951 Letter)
Richard Stokes' Letter to Clement Attlee, Aga Khan Concurs (1951)


Related links:

Iran in Perilous Spot | The Knickerbocker News, December 17, 1951

Opposition in Iran | Amsterdam Evening Recorder, November 26, 1951

It’s Not What You Own | October 26, 1951 editorial

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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