Axe On, Axe Off
September 3, 1952 — The Recorder

The Mossadegh Project | November 19, 2020                           

Lead and sole editorial on Iran in The Recorder, a newspaper serving “Port Pirie: South Australia’s Largest Town”.


IT seems that only time can tell whether Dr. Mossadeq eventually will see reason in dealing with Anglo-Persian problems or whether he will stick to his present attitude of all or nothing—with nothing the more likely reward. He probably prides himself on being a hard bargainer, but he has little cause for personal pride when he surveys the economic difficulties into which he has plunged his country because of his uncompromising attitude.

Since the Persians declared that Britain’s £500,000,000 investment in their country belonged to them they have found that a backward people’s nationalisation of a great foreign owned industry is much more easily achieved in Parliament than it is in economic practice. However, they have continued to glory in the grab which won them an asset but lost them a share of its income. They are in much the same position as a bankrupt who owns a mansion, the main difference being that the bankrupt might be able to sell the mansion.

BRITAIN, probably having gone farther in her joint proposals with the United States than she ever contemplated a few months ago, feels that she can offer no further concessions. That is not surprising when she has even tacitly accepted the principle of nationalisation. It now remains to be seen whether the United States can find a way out of the impasse.

A queer aspect of the situation is the suggestion that the principal reason for Mossadeq’s rejection of the Anglo-U.S. proposals was his disappointment that the Americans were prepared to make him a grant of no more than 10,000,000 dollars. In other words, while the Persian leader’s argument is with Britain, it is her Western partner and mediator who has caused his latest display of pique.

MOSSADEQ’S axe-waving at the goose prepared to lay the golden egg is leaving his country exposed to action by a group which, if it believes the hour is favorable for a bid for power, will not treat with him in the restrained manner adopted by the Western Powers. The latter would have no sympathy for him if he were toppled off his perch, but the international repercussions could be serious. For that reason it is hoped that the obstinate Persian will demonstrate a little more common-sense while he is still in a position to make good use of it.

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


Related links:

Persia—Pushing Or Being Pushed? | The Recorder, September 14, 1951

Persia Could Be Much More Reasonable | Maryborough Chronicle, August 31, 1951

Danger in Iran | March 4, 1953 editorial

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

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