Abrupt Fall From Power
August 21, 1953 — The News

The Mossadegh Project | August 23, 2018                    

The 1953 coup in Iran

The News of Adelaide, Australia, a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch, ran this lead editorial after the confirmed overthrow of Premier Mossadegh in Iran. Their August 19th editorial Middle East setback was based on the false impression that Mossadegh had prevailed.

Australian media archive

The News (Adelaide, Australia)

The volcano of Persia

MOSSADEQ’S abrupt fall from power in Persia is yet another illustration of the unpredictable and explosive nature of Middle East politics.

Shortly after he had apparently foiled an attempted Royalist coup d’etat and banished the Shah, Mossadeq himself was fleeing in fear of his life.

Since forcing out the British two years ago, he had inveigled the Army co-operation so essential to any Eastern demagogue’s tenure.

Playing on the Persians’ intense nationalism, Mossadeq bought cheaply the Army—and the masses—on promises of better things to come once the “foreign oil imperialists” were out of the way.

Perhaps even more important, Dr. Mossadeq until recently had the superficial backing of fanatical religious leader Ayatullah Kashani. [Ayatollah Seyed Abolghasem Kashani]

For centuries the Shahs of Persia have been almost deified by their subjects. But, mainly because of the pro-Western outlook of the present Shah, Kashani’s militantly spiritual hold on the people has almost usurped this tradition.

Now a disillusioned Army and Kashani (whose Islamic scruples have not prevented him from flirting with the Communists) have turned on Mossadeq. Kashani’s blessing, temporarily at least, is deflected to Gen. Zahedi, the new “strong man.” [Fazlollah Zahedi]

The British-educated Shah no doubt has been feeling the pinch on palace coffers through lost oil royalties. [He was Swiss educated, not British] He and Zahedi may soon think it safe to roll out the magic “Welcome back to Abadan” carpet.

But they still have to reckon with Kashani, the arch anti-foreigner and perennial strong man—and the growing strength of the Tudeh (Communist) Party.

Although Mossadeq’s downfall gives satisfaction in the free world, the volcano of Persia is far from extinct.

Norman Darbyshire’s Explosive Interview on 1953 Coup in Iran
The Darbyshire Tapes: Norman Darbyshire's Explosive Interview on the 1953 Coup in Iran (transcript)

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Related links:

The Revolt In Persia | The Advertiser, August 21, 1953

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

End of a Fuhrer | The Argus, August 21, 1953

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

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