Mosaddeq was an influential politician who ascended into power as the 35th Iranian Prime Minister. He was elected into office through democratic means in 1951. Further, Mosaddeq was viewed by several Iranians as the contending champion in terms of secular democracy and display of resistance towards foreign influence and domination in the history of modern Iran. More importantly, Mosaddeq was regarded as an administrator, an author, lawyer, and parliamentarian. His administration was instrumental in the introduction of various social and political measures for instance social security, reforms in the land sector, and increased taxations including rent of land taxation policies. Besides, Mosaddeq’s government’s most important policy was nationalizing the oil industry of Iran which had initially been established by the British on the Persian lands in 1913. Nevertheless, his speech in 1951 viewed the British government and its role in Iran in the twentieth century from various standpoints.
As such, in his speech on 27 September 1951, Mosaddeq viewed the British Government and its role in Iran in the twentieth century as racist and meant no good for the people of Iran. In essence, Mosaddeq was seen as a man of principle and often acted out of patriotism and a sense of justice. Further, the British opposed Mosaddeq’s efforts of nationalizing the oil industry in Iran and this saw him develop bad blood towards the British government (Landen p. 362). More importantly, Mosaddeq described the British government’s role in Iran in the twentieth century as non-patriotic and dictatorial. In his speech, he criticized the British Government for its role in establishing a dictatorial government which would deprive Iranian people of their human rights of freedom. Also, Mosaddeq viewed the British Government as hypocritical and self-centered and only wanted to satisfy their goals of obtaining oil in Iran without caring about the livelihoods of the native Iranians.
Based on the readings, Mosaddeq’s nationalization of the oil industry in 1951 was seen as a response towards foreign interventions. When oil was first discovered in Iran, foreign governments, such as that of the British, utilized force and often exploited the weakness of the Iranian state in a bid to influence it into agreements which gave foreign companies leeway to take control of the oil extraction in Iran. Mosaddeq’s nationalization of the oil industry is seen as a patriotic step towards realizing equality and better lives for the Iranian citizens (Landen p. 365). More importantly, Mosaddeq’s nationalization of the oil industry was coupled with positive attitudes such as the establishment of a democratic government and the quest for Iranian national sovereignty. Needless to say, his efforts to nationalize the oil industry meant that his government was consistently working towards improving the living standards of the Iranian people as well as ensuring protection of the country’s integrity.
I agree with what Mosaddeq in terms of nationalizing the oil industry in Iran. In essence, this is a critical step by a senior government official which means that Mosaddeq was a patriot and a defender of Iran’s sovereign power (Chapter 14 p. 12). Further, Mosaddeq is touted as a statesman who believed in democracy and a champion of human rights; especially among the Iranians. Besides, his efforts in nationalizing the oil industry in Iran indicated that he was backing patriotic as well as liberal elements of Iran.
Chapter 14, in Cleveland and Bunton, “Democracy and Authoritarianism: Turkey and Iran.”
Landen Robert G. “Iran and the National Front: A Speech by Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, 27 September 1951.” In The Modern Middle East: A Source for History, edited by Camoron Michael Amin, Benjamin C. Fortna, and Elizabeth B. Frierson, 360-367. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.