Small Wonder

August 19, 1953 — The Kalgoorlie Miner

The Mossadegh Project | August 6, 2020                       

Lead and sole editorial on Iran in The Kalgoorlie Miner of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, who seemed convinced, incorrectly, that Mossadegh was short.

Australian media archive

The Kalgoorlie Miner (Western Australia)


Although small of stature and frail in health, the Persian Prime Minister, Dr. Mossadeq, during his few years of office has fought enough battles against external and internal enemies to last a more robust man a lifetime, and he has not yet been compelled to admit defeat. [He was of normal height] Originally, it was considered that his bitter feud with the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (whose property he nationalised) and the British Government would reduce Persia to beggary in a matter of months. The period has lengthened to years and Persia still appears to be a jump ahead of national bankruptcy.

At home, the Prime Minister’s adversaries have been many and highly placed, including even the Shah and the national Legislature, but so far the lachrymose, but unyielding, little doctor has worsted them all. On the whole he has had a fairly good deal from Parliament which even granted him temporary dictatorial powers, but when these were not extended to meet his requirements he told the nation it must choose between him and that “hotbed of wrecking operations,” the Majlis, and promptly sought to abolish the whole Legislature by a plebiscite.

The doctor’s ambitions and policies have brought him into frequent conflict with the Shah, who, a few months ago, was only prevented from leaving the country by a popular demonstration in his favour. At the end of last week, however, the Monarchists sought to carry hostilities into the enemy camp by an attempt to kidnap the Prime Minister and replace him with General Fazollah Zahedi, the Opposition leader, for which purpose they were armed with decrees signed by the Shah. [Fazlollah] Government troops, however, spoiled the plot and a number of arrests were made. The Shah and his queen, [Soraya] who were holidaying at a Caspian Sea resort, are reported to have now fled to Rome, leaving Mossadeq the virtual dictator.

It is not quite clear yet just whither Dr. Mossadeq’s leadership is taking the Persian people. The country is very largely self-supporting, its shortages being principally sugar, textiles and cement. Up to date, American loans have provided it with foreign exchange, but President Eisenhower has advised that these cannot be continued in view of the Persian Government’s policy on oil. [Dwight D. Eisenhower] This will mean a tightening of the financial situation.

The Soviet Union, of course, is always on the alert for an opportunity to turn Persian difficulties to its own account. Dr. Mossadeq, however, is strongly anti-Communistic, and there is no indication that he is likely to permit the present situation to force him into major concessions to Russia.


Related links:

The New Dictator | The Daily Mercury, August 19, 1953

Dismissal Of A Tiresome Old Man | The Danville Bee, August 20, 1953

Pure Tragedy Now | The Progress-Index, August 19, 1953

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

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