Revolutionary Situation
July 22, 1952 — The Advertiser

The Mossadegh Project | December 10, 2020                           

The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia) newspaper published this lead editorial on Iran.

The Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia) newspaper


The Shah’s dismissal or Dr. Mossadeq has created a revolutionary situation in Persia. [Mossadegh resigned] It was an act of unexpected courage, born, it may be supposed, of desperation. Only a week earlier the young ruler had given Dr. Mossadeq authority to form a new Cabinet following a strong vote of confidence for the Prime Minister in the Majlis. There can be little doubt that he was dismayed by the prospect of a continuation of the ruinous Mossadeq, but he had given no sign that he was prepared to defy both the Government and a majority of the Majlis in so abrupt a fashion.

It would seem that the opportunity came sooner than he foresaw, and that he had no alternative but to seize it. Dr. Mossadeq, in asking for ‘extra-ordinary powers’ for the next six months, had tried to bring the Ministry of War — and thereby the army — under his personal control. The army alone had stood between Dr. Mossadeq and the assumption of complete dictatorial powers. Its loyalty will be tested in the present crisis, but hitherto it has seemed to be attached to the Shah. Should it now prove otherwise the Shah’s throne may be in danger, for events are clearly moving toward a decisive test of strength between the palace and a combination of Dr. Mossadeq’s National Front and the Communist-dominated Tudeh Party.

Dr. Mossadeq has ridden the nationalist wave with so much flourish that his opponents, including the Shah, have long hesitated even to express their opposition. The consequence has been the rapid descent of the country to the very brink of bankruptcy with only an occasional voice raised in protest.

Now that the Shah is attempting to rally the anti-Mossadeq forces they may show themselves to be much stronger than many people outside Persia have dared to hope. Plainly, however, there is not over-much room for confidence.

The notorious Kashani and the other fanatics of the National Front can work on the street crowds of Tehran much more effectively than those who counsel moderation and common sense; and with the Communists at their elbow, they are already whipping up demonstrations and riots. [Ayatollah Kashani] Moreover, the fate of General Razmara is a sinister reminder of the danger of standing in their way. [Premier Ali Razmara, gunned down by an Islamic fanatic in March]

It is also uncertain whether the new Prime Minister Ghavam es Sultaneh, is the man to provide the new lead that Persia now urgently needs. [Ahmad Ghavam] There can be no question either of his astuteness or his courage. But over a period of many years, including five terms in office, his popularity has worn very thin. Apart from charges of corruption which have studded his career, it is not forgotten that when he was last Prime Minister he attempted to override the law by granting the Russians an oil concession. So vulnerable a political figure does not seem to have the qualifications for the task which he is now facing; but if he is able to make even a beginning he will serve Persia well.

“If I sit silently, I have sinned”: A guiding principle
The untold story behind Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh's famous quote “If I sit silently, I have sinned”


Related links:

The Persian Problem | The Armidale Express, August 24, 1951

Unyielding Disputants — Mid-East Picture Still Dark | Edgar Ansel Mowrer, Dec. 16, 1952

Juggler On A Tight Rope | The Advertiser, August 25, 1952

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

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