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August 6, 1954 — U.S. Editorial

The Mossadegh Project | March 10, 2014                      

This piece ran in the editorial section of newspapers across the country between around August 6, 1954 and August 25, 1954. The “Asiatic Countries” line, however, was unique (in our findings) to The Frederick News-Post in Maryland, who titled it "Iranian Oil" in their newspaper on Aug. 10, 1954.

Steal or Settlement?

It is difficult to determine whether the Iranian oil settlement is really that or a steal. When the Iranian government seized the British-owned oil industry of Iran, and shut it down, British holdings were estimated to be worth $1,000,000,000.

Now it is revealed that the Anglo-American Oil Company [Anglo-Iranian Oil Company — Freudian slip?] will receive only token compensation for its nationalized properties—approximately $80,000,000, to be paid in petroleum over an eight year period beginning in 1956. If a bank robber made off with $100,000, but found he couldn’t spend any of it and had to make a deal with a bank to eat, offered to pay back $8,000 over a period of eight years, the arrangement would be similar to the Iranian oil settlement. [Actually BP ended up with a total of $1.7 billion plus a 40% share in Iranian oil]

It is contended that putting Iran back in the oil business, regardless of how unjust the arrangement will be, will benefit the free world. Iran has been bankrupted by the three-year shut down of the oil industry. Even in the unlikely event that the properties have not deteriorated, Iran has lost her markets for oil to other areas and will have an uphill fight regaining them.

With refineries in the U.S. cutting back output, resumption of refining operations in Iran could have a further depressing effect upon the U.S. oil industry. One favorable factor is the growing use of oil in Asiatic Countries.

But perhaps whatever the owners of the Iranian oil installations can salvage will be accepted as the best that can be expected under the circumstances, and perhaps the stability of the Middle East now will undergo at least temporary improvement.

Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954
Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 


Related links:

British Press Reactions To Iran Oil Settlement | August 9, 1954

Oil Pact Insults Iran, Mossadegh Says In Jail | AP, September 9, 1954

Iran’s Nose | April 20, 1954 editorial

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

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