One Trick Mossy
August 25, 1952 — The Advertiser

The Mossadegh Project | February 22, 2017                        

The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia) published this editorial about a month after the 30 Tir drama in Iran. The newspaper folded in 1954.

The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia) newspaper


For the outside world Dr. Mossadeq has the fascination of a juggler who performs his tricks while balanced on a tight rope. The audience holds its breath, certain that he must come crashing down. But the juggler not only retains his rooting; he keeps on adding to the hopes he has revolving about his head.

Dr. Mossadeq has now turned on the Army and dismissed twenty of its highest-ranking officers, including Marshal Panah, a former Chief of Staff, [Col. Mehdi Khosrowpanah] and General Moghadam, [Nasser Moghadam] who two months ago was Military Governor of Tehran. The purge makes it quite clear why the Prime Minister, in asking for “extraordinary powers” from Parliament, also insisted on taking over the Defence Ministry.

He had reason to doubt the loyalty or the Army during the short-lived episode of the Ghavam Government last June, [Ahmad Ghavam] when the Shah took his courage in both hands for a few days and refused him a commission to return to office. In the riots that followed the Army acted decisively enough at the outset to make it plain that it was prepared to support the Ghavam Government if the Shah would in turn support the Army. But the Shah, apparently, got cold feet, and the Army stood aside while the Nationalist and Communist mobs almost literally carried Dr. Mossadeq back to power.

The Army is now paying its share of the price for the June debacle. Dr. Mossadeq seems to have made himself its master as effectively as he has intimidated the Shah. Whatever possibility there may have been before this of the Army seizing power on its own initiative, as General Naguib has done in Egypt, [Mohammed Naguib] it wears a very faint appearance today. The juggler has performed another successful trick.

Meanwhile, however, the rope on which he stands has been dangerously slackened by the outbreak of war between his own National Front and the Communist Tudeh Party. It looks as though his intention is to use the Army to deal with the Communists and then give it one end of the rope to hold. Hussein Makki, [Hosssein Makki] the State Commissioner of a paralysed oil industry, is in Germany assuring all and sundry that Persia will never fall into the hands of the Communists. He shows a faith in the juggler that is not shared abroad.

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


Related links:

Hopes Wrecked In PersiaThe Advocate, July 24, 1952

Wrangle it out on mat — Peter Russo in The Argus, Dec. 5, 1953

The Devil or the SeaThe Salt Lake Tribune, September 1, 1952

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

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