Mixed Messages
June 5, 1951 — The Buffalo Courier-Express

The Mossadegh Project | May 18, 2021                           

An editorial on Iran in The Buffalo Courier-Express of Buffalo, New York.


Iranians were reported amused over the mix-up in diplomatic notes involving the oil crisis, but probably not many Americans will be inclined to join in the amusement. The consequences could have been disastrous.

The confusion arose over two notes from President Truman. One was to Prime Minister Clement Attlee of Great Britain, the other to Premier Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran. An informational copy of the Attlee note went to American Ambassador Henry F. Grady in Tehran. Ambassador Grady, expecting a note for Premier Mossadegh, delivered the Attlee note to him instead, following it up later with the note actually intended for the Iranian premier.

Inasmuch as the notes were similar, the incident is believed to have caused no damage. But if there had been something in the Attlee note which would have caused trouble if brought to and the councilmen overrode the veto, the attention of Premier Mossadegh, the result easily can be imagined. At any rate, the affair hardly constitutes an example of diplomatic efficiency.

On the credit side, however, is the fact that British and Iranian representatives are about to sit down around a conference table and discuss Iran’s decision to nationalize the resources of the huge Anglo-Iranian Oil Co.

The forthcoming negotiations are regarded by Ambassador Grady as the basis for hopes that a solution equitable and satisfactory to both sides will be found.

At least the possibility is there.

Truman and Mossadegh’s First Messages on Iran Oil Dispute (1951)
President Truman and Premier Mossadegh's First Messages on Iran Oil Dispute (1951)

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Related links:

They Make an Empty Threat | The Vancouver Sun, June 11, 1951

Crossed Wires | The Citizen-Advertiser, June 4, 1951

Impasse In Iran | Manchester Evening Herald, June 23, 1951

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

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