Pig-Headed Determination

Dec. 12, 1951 — The Daily Telegraph and Daily News

The Mossadegh Project | June 8, 2020                      

An especially slanderous lead editorial on Iran in The Daily Telegraph and Daily News of Sydney, Australia.

Australian media archive

The Daily Telegraph and Daily News (Sydney, Australia)

U.K. entitled to pay-off for Persia’s grab

THE Persian Premier (Dr. Mossadeq) sneaked out of Parliament yesterday while armed guards held off his rioting legislators.

His pig-headed determination to break the Anglo-Persian Oil Agreement at any cost doesn’t seem so wonderful now as it did a few months ago.

The cost, so far, has included semi-bankruptcy and mounting mob violence.

The Persian people are discovering just what oil royalties meant to Persia’s financial stability and just how unprepared Dr. Mossadeq was to take over where the British left off.

Elections will be held later this month and the neurotic Nationalist leader is likely to retain his hold in a country where results are flagrantly “cooked” in favor of the men in power.

There is no proper electoral register and the Premier’s personal preeminence is guaranteed by a gang of gunmen, religious fanatics, and political adventurers.

True, Dr. Mossadeq rode into power on a wave of popular approval for oil nationalisation.

But, after the murder of pro-British General Razmara, [Ali Razmara] gunmen in the background enabled him to command unanimous Parliamentary support for his short-sighted, popular programme.

Dr. Mossadeq’s administrative incompetence, plus the threat of national bankruptcy through loss of oil royalties, have now created a typical revolutionary situation.

Meanwhile, the comparatively weak Persian Communist Party is waiting patiently in the wings hoping that Dr. Mossadeq will continue to commit national suicide.

The International Bank’s offer to take over the management of Persian oil must have come as a godsend to the Persian Government.

The International Bank is a specialised intergovernmental agency backed by subscriptions from member countries, including Australia and Great Britain. But as the United States put up most money it naturally commands most votes — 33.00 per cent, compared with Britain’s 14.07 and Australia’s 2.39 per cent.

From the British Commonwealth point of view International Bank control of Persian oil is better than a Persian break down and a possible Communist coup.

But the British Government should make clear from the word go that any agreement between Persia and the Bank doesn’t override Britain’s legal position.

Dr. Mossadeq deliberately flouted international agreements, stubbornly refused to compromise, and brought his country into its present economic chaos.

Britain can welcome any temporary plan to tide Dr. Mossadeq over his self-inflicted economic injuries.

But any permanent settlement should first compensate Britain for Persia’s broken contract and nationalist confiscations.

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:

Mossadeq’s Mistiming | The Barrier Daily Truth, Dec. 12, 1951

Eden’s Task In The Oil Deadlock | Sydney Morning Herald, Oct. 31, 1951

Bad Poker In Iran | August 25, 1951 editorial + letter

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

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