Flowers and Poems For Mossadegh

November 23, 1951 — The Associated Press

The Mossadegh Project | December 28, 2015                   

Iranians Hail Mossadegh As Anti-Imperialist Hero

Thousands Hail Mossadegh
As Hero As He Returns Home


AP (The Associated Press) TEHRAN, Iran, Nov. 23 (AP) — Premier Mohammed Mossadegh returned home today to a flowery and lyrical mass welcome after 47 days abroad in quest of money and in defense of his national oil policies.

Throngs estimated to total 250,000 hailed him as a hero for resisting efforts in the United States to budge him from the decision to produce oil on an all-Iranian basis.

Mossadegh was then rushed to the royal palace, where he conferred five and a half hours with Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi. There was no official disclosure of what they talked about. With them was the Shah’s pro-western minister of court, Hossein Ala.

The unprecedented length and circumstances of the meeting stirred speculation that the fate of Mossadegh’s regime may be in the balance over the financial situation.

The long shutdown of the old royalty-producing Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. has nearly depleted Iran’s treasury. In Washington, after visits with President Truman [Harry S. Truman] and other U.S. officials, the frail old premier won a promise of serious consideration of his appeal for a big U.S. government loan. Otherwise, he got a relatively small credit of $8,750,000 from the International Monetary Fund. [extended on Nov. 14th]

Mossadegh stopped over in Egypt for a three-day visit on the way home and cemented a new era of friendly relationship with the homeland of Iran’s former queen, a sister of Egypt’s King Farouk, now divorced from the young Shah of Iran. [Queen Fawzia Fuad (1921-2013)]

The new bond between Iran and Egypt is based on the increasing common hatred of British influence and imperialism in the Moslem world.

Mossadegh stepped down from his Egyptian plane into an almost overwhelming demonstration. He nearly fainted at the ovation, as he often does in time of emotional stress.

Tons of flowers were laid along his triumphal route from the airport into this capital of 1,000,000 and verses specially penned for Mossadegh’s return by Persian poets in traditional meter were blared out over modern loudspeakers.

A chorus sang him the oil anthem, written in praise of his nationalization that has driven out the British and temporarily impoverished the Iranian treasury. Iran recently announced small-scale production had begun at the Abadan refinery.

All members of the government and both houses of Parliament were in the reception line. U.S. Ambassador Loy Henderson and Egyptian Ambassador Ilias Ismail Bey were there, but the British ambassador was not.

“I am proud to see you today and return to my dear motherland after six weeks and I thank my countrymen who are here to welcome me,” Mossadegh told the airport crowd.

The radio said “The welcome for Premier Mossadegh is a blow to his local and foreign enemies.” These included the outlawed Tudeh (Communist) party members who emerged from underground to demonstrate during his absence.

A mobile broadcasting unit told the crowd Mossadegh did not go to the United States to settle the oil question, but only to defend Iran’s interests in the U.N. Security Council. He told the Council there would be no compromise with the British and kept the same attitude through his long talks in Washington. [He did not say this]

Troops with rifles ready and jeep loads of police with tommy-guns guarded against any Communist demonstration.

There was no major disorder.

Alternate headlines:

Mossadegh Gets Lyric Welcome
Mossadegh Given Lyrical Welcome
Mossadegh Gets Ovation On Return
Mossadegh Versed, Feted By Iranians
Mossadegh Returns To Huge Welcome
Iranian Premier Welcomed Home
Premier of Iran Hailed as Hero
Mossadegh Back In Iran, Hailed as Returning Hero
Thousands Hail Mossadegh As Hero as He Returns Home
Mossy Hailed as Hero; Talks 5½ Hrs. to Shah
Iranians Hail Mossadegh As Anti-Imperialist Hero
Iranian Premier Hailed On Return From U.S.
Mass Welcome Greets Mossadegh But Money Shortage May Threaten His Regime
IRAN GREETS PREMIER — 250,000 Hail Mossadegh as Hero After Trip to U.S.
TEHRAN AGLOW FOR MOSSADEGH — Iran Premier Gets Hero’s Welcome On Return Home
250,000 Welcome Mossadegh Home — Iran Premier Hailed as Hero, but Regime May Be Tottering

Iran Roars Hero’s Welcome As Mossadegh Comes Home

Iranians Roar Wild Welcome To Mossadegh


AP (The Associated Press) TEHRAN, Iran, Nov. 23 (AP) — Thousands of Iranians roared a hero’s welcome today to Premier Mohammed Mossadegh upon his return from a lengthy but fruitless mission to Washington and a brief but triumphal stay in Cairo.

Police estimated that 250,000 thronged the airport to greet the frail nationalistic leader whose government is facing a financial crisis threatening the nation with bankruptcy. Trucks with loudspeakers had moved through the streets of Tehran for hours exhorting the people to march to the airport.

The city was under strict military guard. Rifle bearing troops were stationed at strategic points to foil any attempt to stage a revolt against Mossadegh’s regime, which has been under growing criticism at home for failure to solve the financial crisis stemming from Iran’s nationalization of her oil resources.

Foreign diplomats, including U.S. Ambassador Loy Henderson, were among the officials who greeted Mossadegh as he stepped from the Egyptian plane which brought him home. The British ambassador did not attend.

The frail Premier swayed and almost fainted as he emerged from the plane. He appeared wan and worn from his mission of almost seven weeks.

In a brief talk to his welcomers, he said: “I am proud to see you today and to return to my dear motherland. I thank my countrymen who are here to greet me.”

A chorus broke out into Iran’s new “Oil Anthem”, praising the nationalization of oil, which has closed down the billion dollar Anglo-Iranian Oil company. The great task facing Mossadegh is how to keep his country solvent until oil revenues become available.

The frenzied crowd pressed against the police lines at the sight of the Premier and roared out “Long live Mossadegh.”

Acting Premier Bagher Kazemi officially welcomed Mossadegh with the words: “You are the anti-imperialist hero.”

The radio stressed this theme in exhortations to the crowds, asserting “A welcome for Mossadegh is a blow to his local and foreign enemies.”

Thousands of persons who were not at the airport lined the four-and-a-half-mile highway into the city as the procession rolled along in bright sunshine. Tons of flowers were strewn along the road before the Premier’s car.

In Cairo, Mossadegh had urged Egypt and Iran to work together in a joint fight against “British Imperialism.” During his Cairo stay he and premier Mustapha El Nahas Pasha, of Egypt decided to begin talk soon about tighter economic and cultural pacts between the two nations.

A joint statement issued by the two Middle East leaders said the proposed new treaties would “serve as the basis for multilateral and more general agreements with other Arab countries.”

Although Mossadegh’s stay here was a success, marked by stormy demonstrations of welcome from thousands of British-hating Egyptians, the ailing Premier returns empty-handed so far from his Washington mission. There, he sought U.S. financial aid and technical help on Iran’s problems in running her vast but idle nationalized oil industry.

Mossadegh told newsmen yesterday that Iran’s oil, which she seized from British ownership and control, rightfully belongs to Iran; and that the Suez canal, from which Egypt is trying to oust the British, rightfully belongs to Egypt. The emotional Premier wept as he told reporters that Egypt and Iran together would “close the doors to all foreign imperialism.”

Apparently referring to the Iranian-British oil agreement his country tore up when she nationalized her petroleum industry, and to the 1936 Anglo-Egyptian treaty which Egypt repudiated in an effort to oust the British from the Suez, Mossadegh declared that agreements “forced under British pressure can only be looked upon now as scraps of paper.”

Alternate headlines:

Iranians Greet Premier’s Return
Iran Stages Gay Welcome For Premier
Iran Gives Premier Hysterical Welcome
Iran Premier Welcomed on Return Home
Thousands Welcome Iran Premier Home
Iranians Cheer Premier After Mission To U.S.
Hero’s Welcome Given Mossadegh In Iran’s Capital
Iran Welcomes Premier At End Of 7-Week Trip
Mossadegh Gets Hero’s Welcome on Return to Iran
Iran Roars Hero’s Welcome As Mossadegh Comes Home
Hero’s Welcome Greets Premier — Thousands of Iranians Welcome Mossadegh Home
Hero’s Welcome Given Premier — Iranians Swarm Into Airport To Greet Mossadegh
Mossadegh Given Hero’s Welcome — Some 250,000 Iranians Greet Him At Tehran Airport
Hero Welcome To Mossadegh — Premier’s Return from Fruitless Mission to Washington Cheered


Related links:

Mossadegh Cites Quest of Liberty | October 22, 1951 (AP)

Richard Stokes Has Second Thoughts on Iranian Oil (1951 Letter to Clement Attlee)

Demonstrators and Iran Cops Battle | January 22, 1962 (AP)

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

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