Mixed Messages
June 5, 1951 — The New York Herald Tribune

The Mossadegh Project | October 6, 2015     

A light-hearted editorial in The New York Herald Tribune newspaper (1926-1966), one of many to respond to this particular news item.

The New York Herald Tribune — August 18, 1953

Wrong Address

Everybody who has slipped the wrong letter into the wrong envelope at the wrong time will sympathize with the plight of Mr. Henry F. Grady, American Ambassador at Tehran. Ambassadors have to deliver more notes than most other people do, so a certain amount of confusion is understandable. Mr. Grady, it seems, was expecting to receive a message from Washington for transmittal to the Premier of Iran. Instead, he received a copy of a similar message which had already been sent to the Prime Minister of England. [Clement Attlee] So he absent-mindedly sent the note destined for Mr. Attlee to Mr. Mossadegh. The names aren’t especially similar, it is true, but maybe Mossadegh means Attlee in Persian. Anyhow, it’s awfully warm these days in Iran, and it could have happened to anybody.

Fortunately, there was no great harm in the mix-up. Both letters had to do with oil, both letters urged everybody to take it easy, and both letters were couched in pleasant terms. So Mr. Mossadegh, when he read Mr. Attlee’s mail, found nothing to get upset about. As a matter of fact, the incident may get him to thinking that the United States is really striving to do right by everybody in this crisis, and that the State Department has nothing to hide. But even so, it would be just as well to be careful about this sort of thing in the future. We all have trouble enough without Washington getting its mailing lists mixed up.

Related links:

Crossed WiresThe Citizen Advertiser, June 4, 1951

Wrong Address — U.S. editorial, June 11, 1951

More Sour DiplomacyThe Utica Observer-Dispatch, January 6, 1952

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

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