Nationalist Auto-intoxication
May 29, 1952 — The Sydney Morning Herald

The Mossadegh Project | June 6, 2019                      

The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia published this editorial on May 29, 1952.

Some Signs Of Sanity In Persia

Persia at last shows signs of emerging from her expensive bout of nationalist auto-intoxication. Dr. Mussadiq’s decision to accept the conditions for the renewal of American military aid, which has aroused Russia’s ire, represents a remarkable climb-down from his lofty refusal five months ago to involve his country in “foreign entanglements.” Equally significant is his announcement that he will shortly resign, with its clear implication that he is doing so because it has become necessary to reverse, or at any rate substantially modify, his oil policy.

Economically Persia is very near collapse. Her revenues have slumped as a result of the cessation of the oil royalties and the failure to operate the nationalised industry. It is most unlikely that the alleged oil deal with an American firm, announced this week, will materially change the position. With army and police pay falling into arrears and public discontent growing, it is not surprising that Persian policy towards the West is undergoing revision.

Equally unsurprising is Russia’s sharp reaction. Once again the 1921 Perso-Russian Treaty is threateningly brandished, and a stern Note of protest has been lodged at Teheran. But it is unlikely that Russia will take any direct action to give effect to her protest unless she is prepared for a clash with Britain and America. The rape of Abadan diminished Persia’s economic significance to the West; but her strategic significance is as great as ever.

It must, however, be expected that the Persian Communist Party will do all it can to stir up trouble and perhaps even to stage a coup. Dr. Mussadiq has for his own purposes cried “Wolf” so often that his latest warning of the imminent danger of Red revolution will be taken with a grain of salt. But the danger is real enough and must be guarded against.


Related links:

Mussadiq Digs In His Toes | The Sydney Morning Herald, Dec. 29, 1951

In the Grip of Fanatic’s Vice | The News, August 23, 1952

Russia Exploits Danger In Persia | The Northern Star, May 22, 1951

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

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