Hot Buttered
June 27, 1951 — The News

The Mossadegh Project | October 13, 2017                     

Lead and sole editorial in The News of Adelaide, Australia, a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch’s father, journalist Keith Murdoch. Rupert took over as publisher after Keith died in October 1952.

Australian media archive

The News (Adelaide, Australia)

Persia now has its problem

FIRMNESS is the only course for Britain now in the Persian oil crisis.

The fact that Persia has nationalised the oil industry created by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. must be accepted. The immediate need is to ensure the safety of British subjects on the oil fields, and get British tankers away from the port of Abadan.

That is why Britain has ordered a cruiser to the Abadan area, and instructed tankers to leave Abadan forthwith. And it seems clear, from the statement by the Foreign Secretary (Mr. Morrison) yesterday, that Britain will take any further steps considered necessary if the Persian Government fails in its responsibilities. [Herbert Morrison]

Beyond protecting British lives, it is difficult to see what more the Brtish [sic] Government can do at this stage. Britain could not attempt to hold Abadan and the oilfields by force except at risk of starting a major war, or at the least of being accused before UN of being an aggressor.

But if the situation is acutely difficult for Britain, it has its problems for the Persians also. Persia’s dependence on British oil technicians was underlined by the broadcast appeal of Premier Mossadeq for Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. employes to stay on the job for the Persian Government.

But it is hard to follow Dr. Mossadeq’s reasoning if he expects any of the 3,000 Britons on the oilfields to remain under the shadow of the Persian Government’s proposed “anti-sabotage” laws.

An authoritative view is that it would take Persia months, maybe a year, to get experts from other countries to run Abadan refinery. Even if Persia does operate the oilfields efficiently, there are likely to be marketing difficulties if the British market and British tankers are excluded. So that Persia may have to wait a long time before obtaining the oilfields profits which it demands.

The US Secretary of State (Mr. Acheson) said yesterday the situation in Persia appeared to be moving toward disaster. [Dean Acheson] While “disaster” is probably too strong a term at the moment, the situation is very serious. Everything depends on whether the Persian Government, confronted now with resolute British action, will suddenly realise on which side its bread is really buttered.


Related links:

Persia Is The Real Loser | The News (Adelaide), March 18, 1952

Iran Dangers Continue | The Salt Lake Tribune, July 8, 1951

The Road To Disaster In Persia | The Sydney Morning Herald, June 28, 1951

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

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