August 19, 1953 — The Spokane Daily Chronicle

The Mossadegh Project | November 25, 2013                 

On Wednesday, August 19, 1953, the day of the fateful coup in Iran, The Spokane Daily Chronicle of Spokane, Washington ran two versions of their paper – an early "Empire Edition", and a subsequent "Final Fireside Edition". Each version ran three separate articles and a lead editorial about Premier Mossadegh’s overthrow. Here are the two editorials from that day, in chronological order.


Uneasy lies the head that wears any kind of crown in Iran, either that of shah or that of dictator-premier.

News dispatches this morning from Tehran said royalist insurgents had overthrown the Mossadegh government. The news, which was not immediately confirmed, came in the midst of violent demonstrations in the streets of the capital which early reports said were of communist origin.

In Rome, where he had fled only Sunday, the youthful shah said he would return to the storm-ridden country soon if all went well. He insisted that “99 per cent of the Iranian population is behind me; anyone not a communist is faithful to me and the monarchy.”

So apparently the mob scenes earlier today ascribed to Mossadegh followers, thumping the empty barrel of communism, were followed promptly by an outburst by the Shah’s outraged supporters.


The stormy reign of erratic old Mossadegh appears to be over.

The power-loving premier was swept out of office today in a burst of violence which left 300 Iranian [sic] dead on the streets of Tehran. He tried to hold out against royalist forces loyal to the shah who fled the country Sunday, believing the attempt to dislodge Mossadegh had failed.

But it was no go. Under fire from tanks of the Shah’s army Mossadegh was forced to flee and his whereabouts late today are unknown.

The Shah had insisted in Rome where he took refuge that 99 per cent of the Iranian population were with him, and while that may have been an overstatement, the ruler had enough supporters to unseat the stubborn Mossadegh. If he could do that he should be able to reclaim his seat of authority.

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Related links:

Turmoil in Iran—Again | Buffalo Evening News, Aug. 18, 1953

U.S. Hopes Fall of Mossadegh Will Mean Stable Rule | UPI, August 19, 1953

IRAN: The People Take Over | TIME magazine, August 31, 1953

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

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