Comedy of Errors
June 5, 1951 — U.S. Editorial

The Mossadegh Project | July 20, 2018                      

Narrow Escape!

JUST WHEN we were getting over the shakes caused by the Presidentís proclivity for penning pungent epistles, along comes a new rhubarb, as they say in sports circles.

Now it seems the State Department canít keep his letters straight when it comes time to deliver them. Tehran lifted the curtain on this diplomatic comedy of errors yesterday by announcing that the letter Mr. Truman wrote to Prime Minister Clement Attlee of Great Britain was delivered, by mistake, to Iranian Premier Mohammed Mossadegh.

By one of the most fortuitous miracles in the history of international boners, it came out all right. It seems the President said about the same thing in both letters so it didnít make much difference who got which. And the language was proper.

But supposing Mr. Truman had been in that mood. Imagine the Iranian Premier opening the letter and reading:

ďDear Clem: Now that Iran is a bad odor in the Near East, donít you go smelling it up any worse than you have to. Iím all for you, donít worry, and the next time I see that Mossadegh Iíll punch him in the eye. In the meantime keep your shirt on while I try to reason with the old goat, etc., etc.Ē

Worse still, imagine how that might have come out in Iranian when the interpreters got through with it!

Newspapers that published this editorial included:

The Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York) — June 5, 1951
The Saratogian (Saratoga, New York) — June 8, 1951 (lead editorial)


Related links:

Wrong Address | U.S. editorial, June 11, 1951

Crossed Wires | The Citizen-Advertiser, June 4, 1951

Political Flames Plus Oil Can Equal Devastation, Too | June 12, 1951

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

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