Loan Sharks

November 20, 1951 — Port Huron Times Herald

The Mossadegh Project | July 25, 2023                

Lead editorial in The Port Huron Times Herald newspaper (Port Huron, Michigan).

The Answer Should Be ‘No’

President Harry Truman told Mohammed Mossadegh, Premier of Iran, that his request for a 120-million-dollar loan will be given consideration.

That’s as far as Mr. Truman wanted to go—which is all right with most Americans.

We believe the request is worthy of little consideration. In asking the United States for “immediate financial aid,” the Iranian Premier said his country needs 120 million dollars to keep it from being “paralyzed through lack of funds.”

Mossadegh is largely responsible for the financial plight in which his country finds itself. He persuaded Iran to seize the properties of the Anglo-Iranian Oil company, from which Iran derived a large part of its revenue. He evidently believed that nationalization—or socialization of the oil resources of Iran—would increase the revenue Iran received from its oil deposits. [An oversimplification of the Oil Nationalization Law and national movement.]

Instead, the revenue Iran received from its oil deposits dropped to exactly nothing because the Iranians did not have the know-how to get the crude oil out of the ground and transform it into marketable fuel oil, lubricants and gasoline.

Today Iran has oodles of crude oil which it cannot turn into money it needs to keep from “being paralyzed.” [The British blockade didn’t help.]

And Mossadegh, who is largely responsible for the deplorable financial condition in which Iran finds itself, has the nerve to ask the United States, a capitalistic country, to help Iran out of a mess into which it got itself by a socialistic move. [The following year, Harry Truman, leader of a capitalistic country, seized the U.S. steel industry.]

We can see no reason why the United States should help Mossadegh out of trouble into which he walked deliberately. We can see no reason why the hard earned money of free enterprise Americans should be used to promote Socialism in Iran—or anywhere else. [Britain had a Socialist government and received significant U.S. aid.]

Mossadegh’s request for a loan will be given consideration—as Mr. Truman said it would.

But we are confident it will not be the kind of consideration for which Mossadegh hopes.

Truman and Mossadegh’s First Messages on Iran Oil Dispute (1951)
President Truman and Premier Mossadegh's First Messages on Iran Oil Dispute (1951)


Related links:

Nationalization At Home Haunts Britain In Iran | Ivan Peterman, Oct. 3, 1951

How Britain Outsmarted Itself | Hamilton Butler, April 15, 1951

Stand For Justice In Iran | The Muncie Star, Oct. 5, 1951

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

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