London Defends The Shreds Of Its Empire Against Iran

At the end of the Second World War, the United Kingdom balked at the idea of abandoning its Empire. It created independent central banks everywhere in order to continue to plunder its ex-colonies once they became independent, and companies poised to grab half of the national wealth.

The Shah’s Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, could not accept that London should confiscate his country’s oil and steal 50% of its profits via the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC). He therefore nationalised the company. But the AIOC was the property of the British Ministry for the Marine, and London feared that this example may spread to all of the third world.

Seen from the West, Iran is a dangerous competitor.

Defending his Empire, His Majesty’s Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, convinced his US partner, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, to overthrow Mossadegh. This was Joint Operation AJAX, implemented by MI6 and the CIA and directed by Kermit Roosevelt and Herbert N. Schwarzkopf. The former was the grandson of President Theodor Roosevelt, who colonised Latin America, and the latter was the father of General Norman Schwartzkopf, who directed the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein.

Then the Anglo-US bloc set up General Fazlollah Zahedi as Prime Minister, and created a cruel political police, the SAVAK, by recycling ex-Nazi Gestapo criminals. The Iranian people paid a bloody tribute for its desire for true independence.

Operation AJAX was a success for the Anglo-US. It supplied the model for false revolutions aimed at changing recalcitrant régimes, but above all, it set back the liberation of colonised people by 35 ans.

When the same USA overthrew Shah Reza Pahlevi, who was preparing a world increases in oil prices via the OPEC, they thought they were making a smart choice by organising his succession with France – the return of Imam Rouhollah Khomeini. But the cow-boys never attained the same levels of subtlety as their English mentors. BOOM! Iran once more became the champion of the anti-imperialist struggle, as it had been before the Islamic régime.

This is the conflict which is resurfacing today. As in the time of Mossadegh, Iranian oil production collapsed under the weight of Western threats. The Royal Navy seized an Iranian oil tanker (the Rose Mary in July 1952, and Grace 1 at Gibraltar in 2019). As always, the British pretend that the Law is on their side, but in fact they have only their arrogance. In Mossadegh’s time, they accused Iran of exporting oil which had been stolen from them (because they refused nationalisation), and today, claim that Iran is violating European sanctions (although these specific sanctions themselves violate international Law).

If the conflict should favour the British, it would set back the liberation of the colonised people by many decades. If, however, it should favour the Iranians, it would open the door to a transformed world.

Stena ImperoThere is the possibility of a third way. While London and Washington were allies in 1952, they progressively became rivals, and in 1957, the United States grabbed part of the British Empire during the Suez crisis. At that time, Washington participated in the British negotiations with Gamal Abdel Nasser. It saw the rapprochement of France to the English and the Israëlis, but did not act until they launched their irreparable expedition. Today, the United States maintains its distance from the United Kingdom, and could benefit from a false move by London to « save peace » by ousting it from the Gulf. British advisors are present in Saudi Arabia, in Bahreïn, the Emirates, Oman and Qatar.

Washington is pursuing two objectives facing Iran. The first is to destroy its State structures, as it did in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, and attempted to do in Syria. This is the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy . The second aims to control the export of Iranian hydrocarbons in order to regulate the world market. This is the Trump/Pompeo strategy. The dialectic concerning the nuclear programme is no more than cheap grandstanding which everybody knows to be phantasmagorical.

It could be that, tangled up in a Brexit that arrived too late and has become impossible to manage, Whitehall may insist on defending the shreds of its Empire. The collapse of Theresa May’s government makes it susceptible to give in to any crazy adventure.

Source: Voltaire Network

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7 Comments
  1. The Anglo-American Oil Company was only partially nationalized by Britain, in exchange for fresh capital. Churchill believed that by taking these steps, oil supplies could be secured by Britain, which at the time was involved in WW1.

    The partial nationalization was unjust and unwise; the attempt by Mossadegh to complete the process, compounded the problem. Government should not nationalize at all, and even government militaries should operate in the free enterprise sector, without relying on taxation (instead, charging user fees).

    In any event, before western investment, there was no oil infrastructure at all, nor had any oil fields been discovered. After the investments revealed the wealth, Mossadegh saw the benefits to his regime of taking over what was built, without consent or even compensation, which was later done by his successors..

    Now we see how the Iran gov’t quanders the wealth which they have seized: building nukes, threatening annihilation of religious enemies, and subsidizing terrorism. All without building a credible conventional military. If a “private” firm had done similar things, they would be put down. Iran gov’t needs radical reform, including severing of all ties with supremacist theocracy, or the US should respond to their cries for “Death to America” with “Iran gov’t delenda est”.

  2. Thierry Meyssan

    The British abused their colonial military domination to impose conditions on the Iranian feal regime today considered everywhere in the world as absolutely unacceptable.

    It was an outright theft of national wealth, as Mosadegh demonstrated at the United Nations Security Council session.

    What Iran has done with recovered money is another problem. Moreover, the meaning of this article is to show that there is no link between the type of regime in Iran and the policy of control of national wealth. Each of these 5 regimes used this money for different purposes. This is the same policy that was conducted by
    – Mossadegh (nationalist, qualified at the time of “conciliatory” with the communists)
    – Shah Reza Pahlevi (who wanted to restore the Persian Empire via the OPEC)
    – Imam Khomeini (who wanted to defeat colonialism and establish a regime of the wise as described in the Republic of Plato)
    – Ahmadinejad (secular who disputed the maintenance of the function of the Guide of the Revolution)
    – The Guardians of the Revolution (who intend to export the Khomeini revolution).

  3. What do you mean by “national wealth”? Only natural persons have rights, and nations have rights only with the consent of natural persons they represent. Simply living in a territory does not confer any rights to property. That being said, free enterprise firms have the right to make contracts with other natural persons in governments and expect those contracts to be honored.

    You correctly point out there are two problems: nationalization (by force without compensation) and when the fruits of nationalization are used to finance further aggression. Even if rightfullly acquired, those who initiate force against fellow humans are liable to forgeit those property rights, particularly when they use the proceeds to kill. The right to life supercedes all other rights. Even if peacefully employed post nationalization, the act of nationalization voids any possible property rights claims by the seizing party. Iran government violated both types of rights, by nationalization and unjustly employing the fruits of nationalization. That others have done similar, is no excuse.

    Britain should not have partially nationalized the Anglo-Iranian oil company. Therefore, Mossadegh would have been right to seize the portion seized by the British government, under certain conditions. But he also seized the portion still owned by “private” stockholders, violating their property rights.

    Britain acted foolishly, unjustly, and incompetently by seizing the tanker transporting Iranian oil to Syria. The government of T. May was so incompetent as to take this action without bothering to protect British tankers or hiring the US to do that job. Nor would Trump have been stupid enough to request such an unplanned action; he dislikes May but wouldn’t go so far as to urge her into such a counterproduction act. Look how she messed up Brexit and rejected Trump’s advise.

    But please realize that Iran is using it’s wealth to take over the Syrian government, displacing Assad. They are not simply giving him the oil for free, but are using the oil to buy support, supplanting Assad and sidelining Russia. I think we have passed the point of negotiating with the mullahs. The main question is, do Russia (and Assad) want to be on the winning side, or the losing.

  4. Thierry Meyssan

    Let’s distinguish things:
    – 1. Anglo-Iranian Oil is not a capitalist company, but the fruit of the British military occupation. The purpose of this company was not to exploit Iranian oil, but to steal it without compensation. No other oil company has ever had such status in the world. The United States at the time signed a contract with Saudi Arabian Aramco highlighting the differences between their contract and the typically colonial Anglo-Iranian Oil.
    – 2. The UN Security Council received Mossadegh and – except the United Kingdom – all speakers agreed that the situation of Anglo-Iranian Oil was unacceptable.
    – 3. Today the confiscation of the Iranian tanker in Gibraltar is not a mistake. This is the continuation of the British policy of the 1950s. At the time, they had similarly seized an Iranian tanker claiming that it was carrying stolen oil.
    4. The question of Iranian policy in Syria has nothing to do with its policy of nationalization of Iranian national resources which is the subject of this article.

  5. 1. Anglo-Iranian Oil was a capitalist company, prior to the nationalizations (plural). In any event, all companies should be capitalist, not state-owned.
    2. The unacceptability of one situation does not exclude the possibility that other situations are also objectively unacceptable. In any event, the UN does not have the moral credentials to rightly make evaluations, due to it’s own neo-colonialism and that a majority of it’s members are not mostly free or even democratic. .
    3. I think here you meant to say “accident” not “mistake”. Otherwise you would appear to be endorsing British policy. Oil from nationalized infrastructure is by definition “stolen”, even if stolen from other thieves.
    4. Iran policy in Syria is facilitated by money, which they get from sale of oil that is from nationalized oil infrastructure:

    IRANIAN REVOLUTIONARY GUARD FORCES ASSAD SUPPORTERS OUT OF CHECKPOINT

    “The Iranian Revolutionary Guard forced National Defense Forces (NDF) that support Bashar al-Assad’s government to leave a military checkpoint in Al-Mayadin east of Deir Al-Zour in eastern Syria amid tensions between the two parties, according to Al-Arabiya.

    Sources said that the Revolutionary Guard took over the checkpoint and deployed their forces there in place of the NDF. The takeover of the checkpoint occurred as parts of the NDF defected and joined the Revolutionary Guards.

    The Revolutionary Guards are attempting to convince people in Deir Al-Zour to join them or the dozens of militias they have established in the area by offering attractive salaries, according to Al Arabiya.”

  6. Thierry Meyssan

    In your opinion, a government must not own a business. But to defend its citizens and promote a harmonious development of its country, a government must invest in unprofitable activities, even privatize them when they become.

    As stated in the article, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company was not a private company. It has never been. It was the property of the British Government, specifically its Ministry of the Navy.

    The problem here is that this company was created by a colonial army to the detriment of the local population.

    You can challenge the role of the UN in business. But at the time, it was the only institution governing international relations. And the nationalization of Iranian oil was a state-to-state problem. There was nothing private about it.

  7. Actually I believe that rightful government needs to exist, but should itself operate as a business according to free enterprise principles while avoiding monoply.. Protecting citizens and clients can be financed by user fees, and should not be financed by taxes. Sometimes aggression can be profitable, but usually losses act as a check on government power.

    The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company was previously known as the Anglo-Persian oil company. Before that, it was privately held by it’s founder, William D’Arcy. Here is some history:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/149259.stm
    —————————————————————
    “…the company’s origins go back to 1901, when a wealthy Englishman, William Knox D’Arcy, ventured into the Iranian desert to search for oil.
    For seven years, Mr D’Arcy battled with difficult terrain, an uncertain political situation and rising costs.
    But in 1908 the venture found oil in southwest Persia. One year later, Anglo-Persian Oil was formed.
    However, by then most of the company was owned by the Burmah Oil company.

    Shortly before World War I, Anglo-Persian managed to find a new backer – and good customer.

    After lengthy negotiations, the oilmen promised Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, secure supplies of oil.
    In exchange the British government injected £2m of new capital into the company, acquired a controlling interest and became de-facto the hidden power behind the oil company.”
    ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    Even after the nationalization deal, there were still private stockholders. I admit that no pure capitalism has existed, instead has always been intertwined with government. I talk about examples from history, because from experience I have come to realize that most people require examples and tend to avoid pure theory. But when discussing these examples, I isolate the various aspects through analysis, thus avoiding an analytic/synthetic or ought/is dichotomy.

    The only successful international government with the correct ideology (not fully implemented) was the Roman Republic.
    Since the Roman Empire never formally renounced the name, nor formally disbanded, technically the good aspects should still apply,
    The French revolutionaries claimed they were trying to restore the Republic, but they and other Enlightenment thinkers didn’t do their homework.
    Even American founders missed the main point, despite that the Justinian Treatise explained well enough.

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