The Setting Sun

September 3, 1953 — As the Earth Turns

The Mossadegh Project | March 25, 2023                   

As the Earth Turns — Commentary on World Affairs was a weekly column by D. G. M. Jackson (aka “Sulla”) which ran in several Australian Catholic newspapers. Each edition contained some half dozen separate editorials on a variety of international news items, with an emphasis on foreign relations.

In this edition, Sulla led with this reaction to the 1953 coup in Iran which climaxed on August 19th, and unbeknownst to him, had foreign backing.

Australian media archive

As the Earth Turns — Commentary on World Affairs

Reflections on the Persian Coup

IT would be unwise to assume too lightly that the crisis in Persia is at last over: but it seems clear that the sun of Dr. Mossadeq has definitely set, and the indications are that the Shah and General Zahedi intend to lean on the Americans in their plans for reconstruction. [Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Fazlollah Zahedi] President Eisenhower has done wisely in coming forward, with friendly gestures and congratulations, and without any mention of “strings” to his Government’s aid; Britain has been equally prudent in remaining silent. Zahedi’s history has not given him any reason to love the British, and Persian feeling about them — thanks to intensive hostile propaganda and the ineptitude of the Anglo-Iranian [AIOC] in the sphere of public relations — is such that neither he nor his master are likely to risk any movement towards reconciliation.

It is interesting to notice how, in the first stage of the recent conflict, Dr. Mossadeq contrived to give the world the impression that it was the Shah who was attempting a coup against the Government; while, in reality, it was the Premier who was trying to destroy the Majliss unconstitutionally, [Majles] in order to set up his own dictatorship by means of a fantastically fraudulent referendum. The Sovereign had simply exercised his constitutional powers in dismissing him, and calling upon Zahedi to form a new administration. [simple as that!]

In the last phase of his career, it is now clear that Mossadeq had come to depend more and more on the Tudeh (Communist) Party, and that the overthrow of the Monarchy would almost certainly have been followed by a growing “infiltration from within,” aided by external pressure, which would have brought Persia under full Red domination. The tiny Christian body in Persia — numbering only some 17,000 in a body of 20,000,000 — is reported as greatly relieved at the triumph of the Shah. During the Red occupation of Azerbaigan (1944-1946) the puppet Communist authorities there restricted religious worship and forbade religious instruction in schools. [sic—Azerbaijan]

Richard Stokes’ Second Thoughts on Iranian Oil (1951 Letter)
Richard Stokes' Letter to Clement Attlee, Aga Khan Concurs (1951)


Related links:

The Desperate Situation In Persia | As the Earth Turns, July 19, 1951

IRAN: The People Take Over | TIME magazine, August 31, 1953

Showdown In Persia | The Recorder, August 24, 1953

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

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