BP and Other Oil Giants Plotted For Iraq Reserves Prior to Invasion

The biggest oil companies in the world plotted with the Tony Blair-helmed British government for a year prior to the Iraq invasion to gain control of the country's oil reserves, the Independent reported today. A series of minutes from secret meetings between oil company heads and ministers also revealed that then-Trade Minister Baroness Symons agreed to lobby President Bush on behalf of BP Oil five months before the March 2003 invasion 'because the oil giant feared it was being "locked out" of deals that Washington was quietly striking with US, French and Russian governments and their energy firms.'

The Foreign Office invited BP in on 6 November 2002 to talk about opportunities in Iraq "post regime change". Its minutes state: "Iraq is the big oil prospect. BP is desperate to get in there and anxious that political deals should not deny them the opportunity."

After another meeting, this one in October 2002, the Foreign Office's Middle East director at the time, Edward Chaplin, noted: "Shell and BP could not afford not to have a stake in [Iraq] for the sake of their long-term future... We were determined to get a fair slice of the action for UK companies in a post-Saddam Iraq."

Whereas BP was insisting in public that it had "no strategic interest" in Iraq, in private it told the Foreign Office that Iraq was "more important than anything we've seen for a long time".

Similar to the US, the UK involvement in the Iraq War was sold to its Parliament and its people as a preventative action against weapons of mass destruction – which we now know Saddam Hussein never possessed. And while none of these revelations are particularly shocking surrounding a war built on lies contrived by overreaching governments and huge corporations, the feeling of disgust, anger and revulsion are as fresh as the day they were born. Read the rest at the Independent.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at April 19, 2011, 4:12am

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