In the end, Harriman called efforts to nationalize Iranian
oil "confiscation” and answered Mossadeq’s trust by saying: My
government’s opinion is that the monopolization of a foreign company’s
assets by a government, without paying immediate enough damages or
making arrangements as both sides would agree, should be called
confiscation rather than nationalization.
Although Mossadeq trusted the White House, and ever since the establishment of the National Front would hold meetings with Wheels, US attache, and Dr. Grenny and Wisher, embassy staff, in the end the US betrayed him to render his downfall and at the same time start looting Iranian property.
Of course the 1953 coup and what followed it was not the end of the game. Iran and the world have upon various occasions witnessed the non-commitment of the US.
After the WWII as oil prices grew in influence over international relations, controlling oil reserves grew into the United States’ main concern, so much so that the country adopted a policy to hold sway over oil reserves as part of its national security strategies. In the meantime, Iran which was known as an important oil rich country in Western Asia, had a special place in world oil relations. Attracting the trust of Iranians could help the US reach its objectives. Thus, during the course of the nationalization of oil in Iran, the US entered the scene. Following the passage of the law on nationalizing the oil industry in Iran, the US adopted a two sided policy vis a vis Iran. By betraying Mossadeq and bringing about his downfall in the 1953 coup, the US managed to reach its goals.
Washington’s activities in the course of the nationalization were full of paradox. On one side, the US foreign secretary would outwardly support the nationalization and would say the US recognized the right of governments to nationalize their oil. On the other side, Washington expelled its ambassador to Tehran Levy Greedy, who was thought to have close ties with Mosaddeq, as recommended by the UK to replace him with Levy Henderson. In his interviews, Greedy had praised the nationalization movement as a nationalist campaign and an independence- seeking effort.
Also, Americans used to say in various political circles that Iran had been subject to injustice by the UK regarding oil. Marx Torenberg, head of the Overseas Advisors of the US in an interview endorsed Iran’s legal right in the oil case. He said: The Iranian British Oil Company does not redeem Iran’s legal rights, and therefore it is responsible for much dissatisfaction currently prevailing the oil sector as well as Iran’s economic instability.
The same point was made by George McGee, deputy foreign secretary of the US. Such support behind Iran by the US even outraged the UK, so much so that UK foreign secretary Herbert Morrison made official objections to the US.
As controversy over Iranian oil heightened, the US tried to play the role of the intermediary. Therefore, president Truman dispatched Harriman to Tehran. Harriman hurried to meet Mosaddeq. Mossadeq himself later talked about the meeting when addressing the parliament. There he said things that showed he completely trusted the US. He then called the US president as Saint Truman: Saint Truman, the US president, sent me a message. His Excellency said that Harriman had been dispatched to mediate between Iran and the UK. I replied to Saint Truman’s message in the positive and I knew that Harriman was someone who would not have his personality marred at any cost.
Against what Mosaddeq expected, although Harriman was in Iran as intermediary, his mission was to politically pressurize Iran.
80 days before he was toppled by the joint coup of the UK and US, Mosaddeq wrote to Eisenhower and asked for loan. In part of the letter Mosaddeq had written in an improving voice: The Iranian nation is hopeful that through the good company of the US government, the obstacles that hinder the sale of oil are eradicated. In case removing the obstacles is not what that government can do, they may render some effective economic help so that Iran can make use of other resources. In the end I would like to direct your Excellency’s attention to the harsh situations in which Iran stands.
Although he used to call Mosaddeq "the West’s only hope in Iran”, the US president finally turned Mosaddeq’s request down after a one month delay. This is while McGee had promised on behalf of the US to pay Mosaddeq a loan of $120 million.
The United State’s non- commitment was further made clear when only 17 days after Mossadeq’s downfall, the US government granted an aid of $45 million to the administration of Fazlollah Zahedi. This is while Eisenhower had responded to Mossadeq’s request for loan by saying he did not have the right to hand out the money of the people of America.
Whereas Mosaddeq repeated his trust in the US, Ayatollah Kashani in an interview with an American news agency had said: The US has not acted to what it has vowed so far.
This paved the ground for Henderson, the US ambassador to Iran, to write to the State Government: Mosaddeq agrees with all of the United States’ conditions. There is only one annoying agent in this case and has been preventing the conclusion of the oil case in favor of the US. This annoying factor who has prevented Iran’s consent to the verdicts of the international bank and hindered further cooperation of Iran with the US is Ayatollah Kashani.
Henderson had also said that Ayatollah Kashani posed great threat to the interests of the US and Western governments in Iran.