Iran Ready To Take Over Nation’s Oil
April 30, 1951 — The Associated Press

The Mossadegh Project | April 30, 2012                      


Oil Nationalization Due Soon; Asks For May Day Calm

AP (The Associated Press) Tehran, Iran (AP)— F. Mohammed Mossadegh, [sic] the man who has vowed to drive all foreign influence out of Iran and nationalize the country’s vast oil wealth, moved into the office of premier today and urged this nervous country to remain calm during Communist-sparked May Day demonstrations.

Mossadegh, whose Nationalist party campaign has brought the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company [AIOC] within hours of nationalization, took over the duties of premier without any formality although the Shah had not yet signed the decree placing him in the post. The Shah was to sign the decree later in the day.

Mossadegh said there would be no legal ban on demonstrations tomorrow marking May Day, international labor day but that instead he was appealing to the public for peaceful celebrations.

Only yesterday police had made public a ban on demonstrations decreed by Hussein Ala before his resignation was forced by the unanimous vote of the lower House of Parliament to nationalise the British oil company. [Court Minister Hossein Ala]

An aide of Mossadegh said the new ban would not be enforced because the new premier wanted to avoid provoking trouble. Meanwhile the “May Day Committee”, a front for the underground Tudeh (Communist) party, distributed leaflets calling for workers demonstrations in Parliament Square tomorrow.

With Iranian seizure of the British oil company virtually a foregone conclusion, observers are expressing fear that Iran’s already shaky economy may be headed for chaos and that the country might become easy pray for the Communists and for neighbor Soviet Russia.

In London, a worried British cabinet sought some means of heading off the loss of Britain’s rich oil holdings in Iran, and it was in constant contact with its ambassador, Sir Francis Shepherd, in Tehran. A foreign office spokesman said the United States is being advised of all developments.

The senate meanwhile prepared to meet tonight to complete action on the bill ordering the government to take over immediately the $500,000,000 British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil company, the country’s only developed oil enterprise.

Senate approval of the legislation, unanimously voted by the lower house (Majlis) Saturday night, was a foregone conclusion.

Western observers, and many Iranian political leaders, viewed the aging premier-designate as a visionary without concrete plans for the operation of the complex oil company, backbone of the country’s tottering economy.

They feared that a sudden, unprepared-for takeover might slow oil production to a trickle and produce economic chaos which would open the way for vigorous communist interference both from within Iran and from Soviet Russia across the northern border.

But with parliament terrorized by violence which began with the assassination last month of Premier Gen. Ali Razmara, Mossadegh’s nationalists continued to sweep all before them.

Though the national bloc holds only seven of the 136 seats in the majlis, both parliamentary houses in secret weekend session endorsed the nationalist leader to succeed Premier Hussein Ala, who resigned Friday rather than carry out an oil nationalization act he believed was devised too hastily.

Alternate headlines:

Mossadegh Takes Over As Premier Of Iran
British Oil Interests In Iran About Thru
British Foe Iran Premier
British Foe Leads Iran; Crisis Looms
Foe Of Britain Ready To Seize Oil For Iran
Nationalist Takes Over As Iran Premier
New Premier Of Iran Takes Over Tehran
Nationalization Of Iran’s Oil Near Reality
Iran To Control Oil Resources
Iran’s Seizure of British Oil Plants Assured
Nationalist Takes Over As Premier of Iran
Iran Nationalists’ Minority Head Takes Over Today
Iran Oil Near Completion — Anti-British Group Controls Government
Final Action Near On Nationalization Of Iran Oil Fields
In First Action Against English Iran Premier Takes Office
Anti-British Nationalists In Iran Near Seizure Of Government Control
Iran Premier Urges People To Stay Calm During Demonstration
Iran Is Urged To Remain Calm — Mossadegh Takes Over as Premier
Iran Moves To Nationalize Oil Industry — British Interests Threatened By New Parliament Action
Iran Nearing Take Over On Oil Monopoly — Nationalist Enemy of All Foreign Influence Assumes Premiership
NEW PREMIER TAKES OFFICE IN IRAN — Nationalization of Anglo-Iranian Oil Firm Expected Within Next Few Hours
ANTI-BRITISH GAIN CONTROL OF IRAN — New Premier Favors Nationalization of Country’s Oil Industry
ANTI-BRITISH TO RULE IRAN — Government Plans To Take Over Anglo-lranian Oil Company — CHAOS MAY FOLLOW

Alternate text:

“Anti-British nationalists today stood only a few hours away from formal action giving them control of Iran’s government and authorization for immediate nationalization of the country’s strategic oil industry. Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi reluctantly approved appointment to the premiership of F. Mohammed Mossadegh, aging leader of the minority national bloc which has headed the nationalization drive. The shah was scheduled to issue a decree appointing Mossadegh sometime today.


Related links:

Troubles in Iran Are Serious | Walter Lippmann, May 15, 1951

Persia (Anglo-Iranian Oil Company) | House of Commons, May 1, 1951

UN Last, Best Hope Left For Settlement In Iran | Battle Creek Enquirer, Oct. 1, 1951

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

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