Dead Reckoning

March 11, 1967 — The Lincoln Star

The Mossadegh Project | April 10, 2019                     

Remembering Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh (born June 16, 1882, died March 5, 1967)

After Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh died in Iran on March 5, 1967, this newspaper in Lincoln, Nebraska was one of the few to devote an editorial to the late Prime Minister.

The End Of Mossadeq

Mohammed Mossadeq, a short time premier of Iran, is dead.

He was not long in the international eye. He lost his case and his job and spent his final years in a sort of house arrest in Teheran. [Three years imprisonment followed by lifetime house arrest] There are many young people who are unacquainted with his career, yet he set important precedents in the Near East, caused the Shah of Iran to flee while bringing his country to the edge of anarchy. [The Shah fled on his own accord after the first coup plot failed]

Mossadeq was neither a communist nor a pro-communist although at one time he welcomed Russian troops in Iran. [On the contrary!] He was an arch nationalist with a large Iranian following. He rose to greatest heights and began his own downfall when he nationalized the Anglo-Iranian oil company — largely a British concern, the source of most of Iran’s revenue and, relatively speaking, an organization with an enlightened policy. [AIOC was entirely British-owned, 52% by the government] It paid a rather good royalty for the oil it derived from Iranian soil, it employed and trained Iranian workers, provided schooling and a better than average way of life, invested millions in oil installations. [Misleading summary]

But Mossadeq proved that a satellite country could kick out a foreign owner. The only trouble was that he was not a good administrator and the Iranians could not make the oil business go, or find markets for the product. [The British made sure of that] The result was Iran almost went broke. Mossadeq lost his job and was politically degraded. But one of the heritages he left was picked up by Egypt later. It nationalized the Suez Canal and holds it today because it did succeed in its successful operation.

One thing Mossadeq did not mean to prove, but did, was that backward areas must have more than a sense of nationalism and courage to become the equal of the advanced countries. [Ah, naked orientalism!]

Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 1954
Divvying Up the Loot: The Iran Oil Consortium Agreement of 


Related links:

Iranian Students To Hold Service Honoring Leader | The Spartan Daily, March 7, 1967

Act of Compassion | The Herald Statesman, March 27, 1980

The death of Mossadegh, a final goodbye from Shirin Samii

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

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