Monsters, Inc.
July 17, 1951 — U.S. Editorial

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | December 30, 2014                    

Iranís Frankenstein — July 17, 1951

In July 1951, when W. Averell Harriman arrived in Iran to begin mediating on the Anglo-Iranian oil dispute, he was met with rowdy anti-American protests staged by the annoying Communist Tudeh Party. This hostile welcome, from a public relations perspective at least, was obviously most unhelpful.

The following metaphorical newspaper editorial reacted to these events, yet itís unclear who authored it. The Knickerbocker News (Albany, New York) published Iranís Frankenstein on Tuesday, July 17, 1951. The Elmira Star-Gazette (Elmira, New York) ran it in their "Expressions of Opinion" section on Thursday, July 19, 1951. Perhaps there were others.

ISIS logo By 1953, the United States created its own Frankenstein ó the unrestrained tyranny of the Shah ó which, in 1979, resulted in the terrifying triumph of something even more monstrous. And those monsters keep on coming ē

Iranís Frankenstein

With the outbreak of serious rioting in Tehran, Premier Mohammed Mossadegh well may begin to wonder if he hasnít contrived a Frankenstein. Iranís premier rode into office on a wave of nationalism that he had helped generate. But the trouble is getting out of hand, particularly as the Communists are using it for ends not contemplated by the veteran Persian politician. Recently nine persons were killed and scores injured as Communists, police and members of Mr. Mossadeghís Nationalist Front mixed in a free-for-all on the streets around the Parliament Building. [National Front]

It is a reasonable assumption that the Persian premier actually sought nothing more in the nationalization of Iranís oil than control of the fields and a larger share of the profits. But while he whipped up nationalist feeling to achieve that end, there is evidence now that he is being driven by, rather than leading, the mass emotional binge.

His own political skin is in danger if a final breach occurs with the British. For without English ships and technicians the fields cannot operate or the product be marketed. That in turn means bankruptcy for the government of Iran, a development that the Persian people can hardly take lightly. And, from being a national hero, Premier Mossadegh could quickly turn into a national goat.

It is to our interest to see peace between Iran and Britain on this question. But it is even more vital that we keep Persian oil for the West and deny it to Russia. A finely-balanced judgment is required in blending those two objectives. We wonder if our State Department has it.

70th Anniversary of TIMEís Man of the Year Article


Related links:

Mossadegh Acts Like A Madman | The Times Record, Oct. 2, 1951

The West Created Monsters in the Middle East, Argues Tarek Fatah

Danger Signals In Iran | The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 1, 1951

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — ďIf I sit silently, I have sinnedĒ

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