Start of An Era
November 1, 1954 — The Mercury

The Mossadegh Project | September 5, 2019                  

This was the lead editorial in The Mercury newspaper of Hobart, Tasmania (Australia), after the resumption of oil shipments from Abadan by the Iran Oil Consortium.

Australian media archive
Iran Oil Consortium | Archive of Documents (1953-1954)


OIL from Persian wells is flowing again to the markets of the world after a break of more than three years. The resumption of exports ends a period of difficult international relations and acute economic hardship for the people of Persia.

Shipments have begun within a few days of the Persian Parliament’s ratification by a remarkably big majority of the pact with a consortium of European and American oil companies. The process of ratification apparently aroused little public controversy or resentment against the West.

The Persians recognise that the agreement is greatly to their advantage. In fact, they seem to regard it as the end of their difficulties, and to assume that a new era of prosperity lies round the corner.

The Zahedi Government certainly has an opportunity to begin a new era, but everything will depend on whether it changes the basic pattern of Persian public life. Although Gen. Zahedi’s position is seemingly secure for the moment, with the backing of the Shah and military leaders, he has no roots of popular support. [Fazlollah Zahedi] The people are constantly reminded that the overthrow of Dr. Mossadeq has not yet removed corruption and injustice.

Gen. Zahedi is a potential friend of the Western Powers, and in their own interests they must encourage him to devote oil revenues to economic and social reform. Unless he does so the West will find it all but impossible to build on the foundations of regional security which are beginning to take shape in the Middle East.

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


Related links:

Oil Peace In Iran | The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 8, 1954

Iran Sees Reason | The Buffalo Evening News, October 5, 1954

Oil To Flow Again | The Mercury, July 20, 1954

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

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