The End of All Hopes
August 19, 1953 — The Jamestown Post-Journal

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project
| January 5, 2015                                

On Wednesday, August 19, 1953, the day Premier Mossadegh was overthrown, many U.S. newspapers were still reacting to the first unsuccessful coup attempt of August 16th.

One of them was The Jamestown Post-Journal, who based their information on an August 17th New York Times article Shah Flees Iran After Move to Dismiss Mossadegh Fails by reporter Kennett Love. The paper made no mention of their source, however, even though they briefly quoted Love (in fact, they slightly misquoted him).

Going on Love’s report, the Jamestown, New York paper was clearly chilled by the prospects of what was to come. Luckily, though, everything worked out in the end.

Another Dictatorship

It is still a confused story that comes from Iran, but one fact emerges clearly. Mohammed Mossadegh, the lachrymose 72-year-old Premier, has become the country’s dictator by a series of illegal acts, and the Shah, his envoy arrested when he appeared to deliver a rescript dismissing Mossadegh, has left the country with his Queen.

After a vain attempt to compel the Majlis, the lower house of Parliament, to obey his orders, Mossadegh ordered that a plebiscite be held on the question of dissolving it. The Tudeh (Communist) party staged a great demonstration, with government approval, despite the fact that the party has been outlawed officially, on July 21, and when the plebiscite was held a fortnight ago the party furnished a large part of the Premier’s supporters.

“According to a completely reliable report”, says a dispatch from Tehran, [The New York Times] “the Shah first became seriously worried about the conduct of the Mossadegh Government” when that demonstration was held, and considered dismissing the Premier. When the Premier issued a decree on Sunday ordering the dissolution of the Majlis, the Shah determined to assert his authority and sent the order dismissing Mossadegh. Thirteen opposition delegates were arrested. Colonel Nasiri, [Nematollah Nassiri] sent by the Shah with the order, was arrested, and General Zahedi, [Fazlollah Zahedi] whom the Shah had named as Mossadegh’s successor, has escaped arrest only by moving from one hiding place to another.

Mossadegh’s successful overthrow of the government means obviously the end of all hopes for an honest settlement of the situation created by the nationalizing of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. The continuing existence of a fanatical opposition based chiefly on religious grounds conceivably leaves the old dictator dependent for support on Tudeh. Tudeh is a very dubious ally. The situation seems ominous for Iran itself; it is also ominous for the West.

Two months or more ago President Eisenhower, asked by the Iranian Government, that is, by Mossadegh, for money instead of technical aid, refused the request. It seems probable that the emergence of Iran as a dictatorship will end all kinds of United States aid. It certainly should.


Related links:

Exit, Weeping -- Mossadegh — U.S. editorial, August 20, 1953

World InformationThe Times Record, August 20, 1953

If Mossadegh Is Out For Keeps, the Free World Will GainCourier-Express, August 20, 1953

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

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