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A Familiar Story
THE HISTORY of the company we now call BP over the last hundred years has really traced the arc of global transnational capitalism. The Anglo-Persian Oil Company, guaranteed itself, or won the right to own, all of Iran's oil. So, nobody in Iran had any right to drill for oil or extract oil or sell oil.
Then, soon after that find was made, the British government decided to buy the company. So the Parliament passed a law and bought 51 percent of that company. And all during the 1920s and 1930s and 1940s, the entire standard of living that people in England enjoyed was supported by oil from Iran. So that became a fundamental foundation of British life.
And then, after World War II, when the winds of nationalism and anti-colonialism were blowing throughout the developing world, Iranians developed this idea: we've got to take our oil back. It was Mosaddegh's desire, supported by a unanimous vote of the democratically elected parliament of Iran, to nationalize what was then the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. They carried out the nationalization.
The British and their partners in the United States fiercely resisted this. And when they were unable to prevent it from happening, they organized the overthrow of Mosaddegh in 1953. So that overthrow not only produced the end of the Mosaddegh government, but the end of democracy in Iran, and that set off all these other following consequences.
Ted Rudow III,