Irrational Forces

July 7, 1951 — The Evening Sun

The Mossadegh Project | August 27, 2023                     

Another consecutive editorial on Iran and the World Court in The Evening Sun newspaper of Baltimore, Maryland.

Irony In Iran

If it were not for the sharpness and implicit dangers of the crisis in Iran, the gathering of crowds in Tehran, as reported by Mr. Thomas O’Neill, to cry “Death to the Hague Court,” would be a comic episode. Nothing could better illustrate the follies of a blind and extreme nationalism.

The International Court, as was pointed out yesterday, has no power to enforce a decision in the case of the nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Moreover, it has not rendered a decision — it prudently avoided doing that. The only action taken by the court was to recommend a “truce” and interim working agreement between Iran and Britain to permit of further negotiation.

What, after all, could be a less contentious or more objective proposal? But the Iranians have apparently been carried to the point, at which anything less than a resounding endorsement of their seizure of the oil properties is regarded as an affront and an attack. Twelve men learned in the law of nations, sitting in Holland, urge Iran and Britain to try to throw a temporary bridge across their differences, and the result is that a mob turns out in Tehran to call for the “death” of those judges.

The serious and disturbing aspect of this incident is that it indicates how irrational are the forces which have been let loose in ancient Persia by the policy its Government has followed, and how perilous the resulting situation can be to Iran itself. There is a good deal of sympathy for the Iranian notion that it should regain control of its resources in oil. There can be little doubt that London has not been as far-seeing and astute as its friends wish it might have been in dealing with the problem. But when all of that is granted, the fact remains that the way the policy of nationalization has been instituted and carried forward by the Iranian Government has opened the door to all sorts of risks.

Reports state that later in the day there was a riot in Tehran in which native Communists were prominently involved. The fear that Russia may be planning some action is still a very real fear as the broadcast of Mr. Ray Brock shows. Certainly it is a bitter irony that Iranians should violently denounce a mild suggestion of compromise while grave jeopardies surround them. And irony would become tragedy if in the course of claiming their rights in oil riches Iranians should lose all other rights which they possess.


Related links:

Exercise In Futility | The Evening Sun (Baltimore), July 6, 1951

Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. Threatens: Don't Buy Iranian Oil (1951)

‘Personal Diplomacy’ Again | Muncie Star, June 4, 1951

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

Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Tumblr   Instagram