And Israel is currently being very transparent.
The following is excerpt from The “Tyranny of Oil, The world’s most powerful industry – and what we must do to stop it” written by Antonia Juhasz. Pages 330 – 336 BUY THE BOOK!!!:
Fair warning, the bullshit swirling around the history of the West’s efforts to steal Iran’s Oil is phenomenal and almost dizzying to read. But one thing is incontrovertible - the Democrats and Israel have been involved long before Obama showed up. Obama’s latest whatever appears to be a very organic extension of the same old crap that has been going on for literally now for over 100 years! And if Obama could dump Iranian oil in Big Oil’s lap it would have huge political repercussion for the Democratic Party.
It sure reads like corporate imperialism is behind any problems we may be having with our relations with Iran.
“Big Oil in Iran
The British, later joined by U.S. oil companies, maintained a hold Iran’s oil from the turn of the century until the Iranian revolution of 1979. In 1908 the British were the first to lay claim to Iran’s oil, paving the way for the company that would become British Petroleum (BP). BP controlled Iran’s oil under the concessionary system until Dr. Mohammad Mossedeq, the democratically elected leader of Iran, nationalized the country’s oil in 1951. The nationalization rendered Mossedeq a hero in Iran and throughout the Middle East. Shirin Ebadi, winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for her lifetime of human rights activism in Iran, eloquently describes the national sentiment toward Mossedeq in her 2007 autobiography, Iran Awakening. Ebadi writes of the nationalization, “This bold move, whichd upset the West’s calculations in the oil-rich Middle East, earned Mossedeq the eternal adoration of Iranians, who viewed as the father figure of Iranian Independence, much as Mahatma Gandhi was revered in India for freeing his nation from the British Empire.” A very different image appeared in Time magazine, which named Mossadeq 1951’s “Man of the Year.” The biting article described how Iran’s leader had “increased the danger of a general war among nations, impoverished his country, and brought it and some neighboring lands to the very brink of disaster.”
The British government tried to choke off the new regime by mounting an embargo, threatening tanker owners with legal action if they transported the “stolen Iranian oil.” The British also embargoed goods to Iran, and the Bank of England suspended financial and trade facilities that had been available to Iran. “In short,” Daniel Yergin concludes in The Prize, the British met the nationalization “with economic warfare.” The economic war only strengthened the Iranians’ resolve and their support of Mossadeq.
In response, in 1953 the Americans joined the British in engineering a military coup that successfully ousted Mossadeq, reinstalled Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and put Iran’s oil back in Corporate hands. As payment for the U.S. efforts, the British opened up their Iranian oil holdings to the U.S. Sisters: Standard Oil of New Jersey, Standard Oil of New York, Standard Oil of California, Gulf, and Texaco. Shell and the Compagnie francaise des Petroles were also given a piece of the new Iranian consortium.
Over the course of the 1970s, particularly as U.S. oil companies were pushed out of Iraq, every major U.S. oil company eventually gained a portion of the Iran’s oil. Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter made sure that the shah’s regime held firm against both domestic opposition and international suitors (namely, the Soviet Union) by facilitating some $12 billion in sales of advanced weaponry to Iran from 1972 to 1978. But to little avail. On October 17, 1978, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, exiled in Paris, called on Iranians to overthrow the shah and to liberate “the destiny and resources of our country from foreign control.” In 1979 a massively popular revolution ousted the shah and named Khomeini as its new leader. It was only a matter of months before Iran’s oil was nationalized and the foreign corporations thrown out of the country.
The United States first imposed economic sanctions against Iran in response to the 1979-1981 hostage crisis. While the United States was officially neutral in the Iran-Iraq war, U.S. support clearly flowed more heavily toward Iraq. In 1984, after Iran was implicated in the bombings of the U.S. embassy and a U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon, Iran was added to the U.S. list of countries that support terrorism.
In a televised address in 1986, President Reagan explained the importance of Iran to the American public: “Iran’s geography gives it a critical position from which adversaries could interfere with oil flows from the Arab states that border the Persian Gulf. Apart from geography, Iran’s oil deposits are important to the long term health of the world economy.”
There was dissension within the Reagan administration, however. Donald Rumsfeld, Reagan’s special envoy to the Middle East, promised Iraq that the United States would stop not only its own but also other nations; arms sales to Iran. Yet National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, CIA Director William Case, and ultimately Reagan approved secret arms deals to Iran. The deals were short-lived, occurring from 1985 to 1986. After a Beirut magazine uncovered the sales, it was learned that the Reagan administration was overcharging Iran for the weaponry and funneling the extra money to the Nicaraguan Contras. In response, Congress passed the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, prohibiting Iran from receiving U.S. arms. The following year, in 1987, Reagan signed an executive order banning imports of Iranian crude oil the United States, along with all other Iranian imports.
Cracks emerged in the Iranian government’s attitude toward the West in 1990s, creating new opportunities for U.S. oil companies. These opportunities were quickly shut down by the Clinton administration, however. Like Iraq, Iran emerged from the Iran-Iraq war in 1988 with a fractured economy, enormous financial debt, and a weakened capacity to produce oil. These domestic problems were exacerbated by low global prices for oil and sanctions from the United States. Nonetheless, while the Ayatollah Khomeini was in power and the United States was considered the “Great Satan,” there was little opportunity for Big Oil to find its way back into Iran.
In 1989 the Ayatollah Khomeini died and, in response to ongoing popular organizing by Iranians, the political climate changed. Hojjatoleslam Ali Khamenei, who had served as Iran’s president, was appointed its new supreme leader, and Hashemi Rafsanjani became president. Khamenei and Rafsanjani were deeply committed to stabilizing Iran’s crumbling economy and were willing to work with the West to achieve this goal. Rafsanjani led the effort and turned to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to facilitate a restructuring of Iran’s vast foreign debt, opening Iran to the IMF’s economic prescriptions. The IMF advocated, and Rafsanjani sought to implement, fundamental changes to Iran’s economy, including limited openings in the oil and natural gas sectors to foreign companies. Support from most of the government was limited, but some changes did occur.
In 1991 Iran began opening certain offshore oil and gas fields to foreign companies, using a buyback system that remains in place today. Iran’s oil remains nationalized, and the National Iranian Oil Company exercises full control and ownership of the fields, but it hires foreign companies to develop the fields and pays them “in kind” with a set proportion of the fields’ output – either oil or natural gas. The companies have neither ownership rights nor control over decisions about the fields, such as the level of production.
In 1995 Iran signed an oil contract with Conoco, establishing the greatest potential access to Iran for a U.S. oil company since 1979. The $1 billion deal allowed Conoco to develop two large offshore oilfields for the National Iranian Oil Company. It marked a dramatic change for U.S. oil companies and sent shockwaves through Washington. Clinton was advancing a “dual containment” strategy to try to choke off international support for both Iran and Iraq. He blamed Iran for funding terrorism, particularly against Israel, for hindering Middle East peace negotiations, and for pursuing nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. Clinton was trying to convince other countries to join the United States in this strategy and was not at all interested in bending to the will of Big Oil in this instance.
U.S. public outrage against Big Oil grew when it was discovered that, while the U.S. government had imposed a ban on importing Iranian oil, U.S. oil companies had continued to purchase and sell Iranian oil, thereby supporting the Iranian regime. Exxon, Shell-North America, and others began purchasing Iranian oil and selling it abroad as early as 1992. It is unclear whether the U.S. companies had marketing contracts with the Iranian government or purchased the oil from other parties. In either case, it is estimated that for several years U.S. companies purchased some 30 percent of Iran’s oil a year, worth about $4 billion, which they then sold outside the United States.
Big Oil hoped that as the door closed in Iraq and opened to Iran, the U.S. government would back its play – just as it had in the past. This time, however, Big Oil was than disappointed when quite the opposite occurred [note from blogger: is Obama trying to rectify this via war?]. The Clinton administration forced Conoco to cancel its contract with Iran. Ten days later, Clinton issued an executive order to ban all U.S. investment in Iran’s energy sector. A subsequent Clinton executive order banned all U.S. trade and investment in Iran. Finally, in 1996, under heavy lobbying from the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Clinton signed the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, imposing U.S. sanctions on any foreign company invested in Iran’s energy sector.
In 1997 the people of Iran elected a new president, Mohamed Khatami. Where Rafsanjani was considered a centrist, Khatami was a reformer who pushed for greater domestic sociopolitical freedoms. He also continued to advocate for foreign invest in the energy sector – although under the same limited conditions above. The U.S. sanctions, and the pressure that the United States was applying on other nations to adhere to them, were stifling Iran’s economy (as they were intended to do). Khatami announced new oil and gas opportunities for foreign companies. French, Russian, Malaysian, and even Canadian companies began signing limited buyback contracts to develop oil and natural gas fields in spite of the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act. Clinton threatened retaliation but never followed through, as doing so would have entailed imposing U.S. law extraterritorially. Big Oil did not want to be shut out of these deals and immediately went to work lobbying the Clinton administration to cancel the sanctions.
American-Iranian Council and USA*Engage
In 1997 two key organizations were formed to fight back against Clinton’s sanctions: the American-Iranian Council (AIC) and USA*Engage. The AIC’s board and advisory council includes current and former executives of Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon-Mobil, Halliburton, and others. In fact, Chevron’s corporate logo is a permanent fixture on the AIC’s Web site. The council facilitates better relations between Iran and the United States, partly through high-level meetings between Iran’s government and the CEO’s of the nation’s largest oil companies.
At a meeting in 2000 organized by the AIC between U.S. oil companies and Iranian government officials, for example, “the companies expressed their concern about sanctions, spoke about their activities against them and asked for some word on what Iran could do,” according to council president Hooshang Amirahmadi. ExxonMobil, Chevron, Conoco, and Iran’s parliamentary speaker, Mehdi Karroubi, participated in the meeting. Korroubi made an unsuccessful bid for Iran’s presidency in 2005 against current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and today leads Iran’s opposition reformist party, Etemad-e-Melli (the National Trust Party).
USA*Engage was formed by Exxon, Mobil, Conoco, Arco, Unocal, Chevron, Halliburton, the American Petroleum Institute, and other corporations to lobby against unilateral sanctions. “Conoco had become concerned with the lack of balance in American foreign and trade two years ago and championed the formation of the USA*Engage Coalition,” Conoco CEO Archie Dunham stated in 1999. He pointed to Iran as Conoco’s “most well-known sanctions disappointment.”
Mobil ran newspaper advertisements in the United States asking that companies be allowed to negotiate deals with Iran with the understanding that such deals would “remain unconsummated” until sanctions were lifted. Arco just went ahead and held negotiations. Linda Dozier, Arco’s spokesperson, told Voice of America radio in 1999 that Arco was having productive conversations with Iran: “We’d characterize our activity in Tehran as an expression of interest subject to lifting of sanctions. We have specified some projects that we would be very interested in, but with the clear understanding that it would be subject to the lifting of U.S. sanctions.”
As CEO of Halliburton, Dick Cheney was one of the most outspoken critics of Clinton’s sanctions policies. “We seem to be sanction-happy as a government,” Cheney told an oil industry conference in 1996. “The problem is that the good lord didn’t see fit to always put oil and gas resources where there are democratic governments.”
And on and on it goes until Bush enters and the narrative expands to the point of this gem found on page 351 “Big Oil’s presence was felt on the ground during the initial assault on Baghdad when soldiers set up bases nicknamed “Camp Shell” and “Camp Exxon. Halliburton received a series of contracts, including for oil facilities restoration, that have yielded the firm more than $20 billion in Iraq War earnings to date.”
Obama has a hard act to follow after Bush’s Mideast Oil-War cash orgy in Iraq. Can he do it with Israel’s help? He’d better if Democrats want to stay in power$$$. Because there are a lot of Oily/War Oligarchs who are impatient with democrats ability to dole out the uber bounty in the mid-east.