Name and Blame
September 2, 1952 — The Daily Examiner

The Mossadegh Project | September 8, 2020                           

Lead and sole editorial in The Daily Examiner of Grafton, New South Wales, Australia.

Australian media archive

Grim Turn In Oil Dispute

THE blunt refusal of the Persian Prime Minister (Dr. Mohammed Mossadeq) to have anything to do with the settlement plan for the oil dispute proposed by Great Britain and the United States is a severe blow to Western hopes for early agreement.

Presented over the names of Mr. Churchill and President Truman, the Anglo-American approach represented the very highest level. These two great nations made no attempt to force the Iranian Prime Minister to accept unpalatable terms. Instead they put forward an offer which was moderate and sensible — one which both sides could accept with mutual benefit and without loss of face.

But the action of Dr. Mossadeq has left the issue still undecided, with the chances of settlement now far more remote. Hitherto, all negotiations between Iran and the West have been on official levels — but never before have the Prime Minister of Great Britain and President of the United States intervened. [Winston Churchill and Harry Truman]

Dr. Mossadeq claims the offer of the West, apparently because it did not concede all his ultra-nationalistic claims, will have a bad effect among his people. It is likely to have a permanently bad effect, as the future now facing Iran is anything but happy for that poverty-stricken country. Cut off from oil revenue for over a year, with pay owing to the army, police force and Government officials, Iran is bankrupt. Nothing can disguise that fact. To meet Government expenditure, reduced as it is to the minimum with a cessation of all works on schools, hospitals, roads and the like, Dr. Mossadeq has adopted a “soak the rich” policy. That is long overdue, but is a reflection of the desperate straits to which Iran has been reduced. An even better indication is the fact that the Crown jewels of a people whose history reaches back into the days of Xerxes have been sold to meet current bills. [Untrue]

Despite these facts and the knowledge that his always hungry people are now near starvation, the fanaticism of the aged and ailing Premier is such that he has rejected out of hand a compromise settlement of the dispute which has crippled Iran and embarrassed the West. Although the entire free world stands to lose from the Iranian crisis, the biggest losers by far must be the Iranian people.

With the peasants still working so many days a month for their lords without payment and with conditions of serfdom still existing which disappeared centuries ago in Western democracies, Iran is ripe for Communism. The army, always regarded as pro-Shah, is now riddled with Communist agents and is largely in sympathy with the potential invader. [Untrue] In any case, Iran could never stage more than a token fight against her massive northern neighbour, especially when Communist agitators whip the mobs to fury with their demands that American military advisers be withdrawn.

The outlook is sombre indeed for Iran. The blame rests squarely at the feet of Dr. Mossadeq, an anti-Communist himself who is so blind to the realities of the world that he is prepared to offer his nation as a sacrifice to Moscow rather than work amicably with the West.

Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954
Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954


Related links:

Underwriting Colonialism | Hamilton Butler on Iran, Jan. 6, 1952

Mossadeq’s Mission | The Daily Examiner, October 18, 1952

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

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

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