Persian Bandit Holds Up World Court

September 18, 1952 — The Buffalo Courier-Express

Arash Norouzi

The Mossadegh Project | July 8, 2017                    

In this editorial, The Buffalo Courier-Express in New York compared Premier Mohammad Mossadegh, the democratically elected Iranian statesman, with legendary American outlaw, bank / train robber, and murderer Jesse James.

Dr. Mossadegh Might Try
White Horse and Two Pistols

Like a lot of other people, Premier Mossadegh of Iran wants money. His country is virtually broke, thanks largely to his nationalization of oil and forfeiture of oil revenues from the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. [AIOC] But if Premier Mossadegh wants money, he certainly is taking a most peculiar line in trying to cash it.

Premier Mossadegh has delivered what amounts to an ultimatum to Britain on the oil situation. He demands payment of $137,200,000 for losses sustained by Iran through the measures taken by Britain to prevent the sale of Iranian oil abroad. He agrees to have the World Court arbitrate the Anglo-Iranian Co. claims against Iran but with the issue limited to the company’s property in Iran. And if Britain vacillates or fails to agree, Premier Mossadegh will feel free to sever international relations.

[The sum requested was not for the losses sustained by Iran. Mossadegh wanted the former company to release £20 million of the £49 million ($137.2 million) which it owed Iran for withheld loyalties and back taxes, with the balance to be paid at the end of negotiations.]

The premier must know that his ultimatum will be rejected. What he in effect is asking for is a direct gift or at best a loan pending court arbitration of a matter which Britain would be deprived of most of her case before the preceding started.

As an examplar of the Jesse James school of diplomacy, Dr. Mossadegh definitely is making his mark, but the mark is not likely to bear any resemblance to an endorsement of a British check for $137,200,000. If Dr. Mossadegh wants to settle the oil controversy, he has embarked on the best possible course not to get it.

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Related links:

Mossy and the Pistol | The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 2, 1952

Senator Soaper Says || More Corny Iran Jokes from the 1950’s

The Devil or the Sea | The Salt Lake Tribune, Sept. 1, 1952

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

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