Won’t Somebody Please Think of the Commonwealth?

August 19, 1953 — The Daily Mercury

The Mossadegh Project | April 25, 2018                      

The Daily Mercury newspaper of Mackay, Queensland, Australia published this sole editorial on the day of the 1953 coup, wrongly assuming that it had failed.

Australian media archive

The new dictator

FLIGHT of the Shah of Persia, Riza Pahlevi, [sic—Mohammad Reza Pahlavi] and his wife [Queen Soraya Esfandiari] to asylum in neighbouring Iraq has removed the last obstacle to the Mossadeq dictatorship of Persia.

THE Shah’s flight was a sequel to the collapse of the attempted coup d’etat by officers of his imperial Guards and has given Dr. Mossadeq complete internal control of the country through his police.

THE development is the coup de grace to the long period of British association, and up to the Abadan incident, active participation in Persian affairs, and the price the Shah finally has had to pay for unfailing British sympathies.

IT is the curtain fall on British hopes of reestablishing its interests in oil at Abadan, and an invitation to a state of international strategy in the Middle East which Britain for centuries, by arms and diplomacy has worked studiously to avoid.

SOVIET Russia has never made a close secret of its post-war intentions to extend its sphere of influence to the Indian Ocean. The opportunity to achieve this, which Persian developments now present, is one which Mr. Malenkov and his colleagues might be expected confidently to accept with the least possible delay. [Russian Premier Georgy Malenkov]

CONSEQUENCES of this, for Britain and its Commonwealth partners in the East, including Australia, are serious in the extreme. The link between a Soviet influenced Persia and a tottering Egyptian Republic must strengthen British resolve, as never before, to stand firm over the Suez, as the last, though not the least, of freedom’s frontier posts in the Middle East.

FOR Australians Persian prospects uncover some of the sobering background of world strategy which gives weight and reason to pre-budget forecasts that any relief for Australians cannot be expected to beat the expense of defence commitments. If Korea has closed Persia has all the signs of opening with portents no less sinister.

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Related links:

Middle East Setback | The News (Adelaide), August 19, 1953

End of a Fuhrer | The Argus (Melbourne), August 21, 1953

Mossadeq Still In Saddle | The Mercury, March 4, 1953

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

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