Rush N’ Attack?

May 16, 1951 — The Arizona Republic

The Mossadegh Project | November 20, 2020                

Lead editorial in The Arizona Republic newspaper of Phoenix, Arizona.

Do We Face War In Iran?

Is Iran to be the scene of the next outbreak of war? The Middle East today is undeniably an area of crisis. Some action must be taken by the British to prevent their oil holding in Iran from falling into the hands of Soviet Russia. Britain vitally needs the 80 million barrels of oil this richest single field in the world turns out annually. It supplies the British fleet and about one-third of the nation’s civilian needs.

Much more important is the threat that the Russians will take over this field, which Iran has ordered nationalized. Britain is being forced into a position that requires great decisions, and she needs backing. The U.S. has endeavored diplomatically to persuade Iran to postpone nationalization, but without success.

If Washington will give its diplomatic consent to a protective movement of troops into the Iran oil fields, Britain will act. It is doubtful whether she will make such a move, however, without full U.S. approval. Today an independent group of parachute troops is under arms in Britain ready to drop into Iran. What will happen if they move? Will Russia interfere?

The Soviets and Iran entered into a treaty in 1921 whereby Russian troops may enter Iran to protect it from aggression by a third nation or to prevent Iran from becoming a base for military action against the Soviets. Tehran says this treaty is no longer valid since the United Nations came into existence. No doubt the Communists have been successful in stirring up the Iranian nationalists and had a hand in pushing the seizure of the British-owned oil fields. Can the Western allies permit the loss of this oil and take no action whatsoever to protect it? Will they risk a world war by taking military steps to that end?

Winston Churchill | 1951 Campaign Speech on Iran Oil Crisis
The untold story behind Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh's famous quote “If I sit silently, I have sinned”


Related links:

Do We Fight in Iran? | The Kokomo Tribune, August 1, 1952

On the Other Foot | The Nashville Tennessean, May 16, 1951

U.S. Interest In Persia | The Cairns Post, July 19, 1951

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

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