Baited Breath
October 24, 1952 — The Northern Star

The Mossadegh Project | March 26, 2021                           

Lead editorial on Iran in The Northern Star newspaper of Lismore, New South Wales, Australia.

The Northern Star (Lismore, New South Wales, Australia)


DESPITE HER BREAK with Britain, which has now been implemented, Persia has not yet made her future intentions clear. It has stood a long time at the crossroads. Whether it can continue much longer to toy with the paw of the Russian bear without getting snatched behind the Iron Curtain is not easy to foretell.

For months this dalliance with fate by Premier Mossadeq was evidently designed to extract concessions from Britain and funds from America; but he refused several reasonable compromises over British-developed oil, and rejected American mediation efforts. [incorrect]

After the riots which ousted Premier-for-a-day Ghavam [Ahmad Ghavam] and undermined the Shah’s control of the Persian Army, the cowed Persian Parliament gave Premier Mossadeq powers to rule by decree for six months. Yet it is doubtful now whether even Dr. Mossadeq is master of Persia or of his own actions as ostensible dictator.

For in order to accomplish recapture of his power his National Front Party made alliance with two forces, either or both of which might sweep them to destruction. One of these was the extremist Moslem group headed by Mullah Kashani, bent on driving any non-Islamic influences from Iran; the other was the Communist Tudeh Party, bent on expanding the power of the Soviet Union. [Ayatollah Kashani]

Dr. Mossadeq was in an excellent position to renew negotiations with the British about the expropriated petroleum after the World Court had refused to take the case. But his announced willingness on this score was suddenly, cancelled, quite possibly by the Kashani ultra-nationalists, who claim credit for the assassination of former Premier Ali Razmara.

Now that Dr. Mossadeq has finally broken with Britain, the questions are will he preserve order in Persia and will he be able to prevent further deterioration in the living conditions of his people?

The world no longer holds its breath as it asks these questions. Oil supplies have been made up elsewhere and there is doubt of Russian ability to exploit petroleum resources on the Persian Gulf.

The answer is up to Dr. Mossadeq.

Truman and Mossadegh’s First Messages on Iran Oil Dispute (1951)
President Truman and Premier Mossadegh's First Messages on Iran Oil Dispute (1951)


Related links:

Britain Cannot Afford More Concessions | The Northern Star, Sept. 29, 1951

Mossadeq’s Political Triumph | The Kalgoorlie Miner, July 9, 1952

Dr. Mossadeq’s ‘Last Offer’ | The Advertiser, Sept. 26, 1952

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

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