Indeed, BP (or, back in the day when it was known as the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company) has bequeathed the world much more than a sticky oily Gulf of Mexico, dead sea life and unemployed Americans.
In fact, they helped mightily in delivering to the world stage the militant, fundamentalist Islamic state of Iran.
Huh you say? True I say. Oh, and the "Anglo-Iranian Oil Company" had some help from the good old USA in setting in motion the events that would lead up to the 1979 Iranian revolution and institution of Ayatollah Khomeini.
The BBC has an excellent article on this history that you can read by clicking HERE.
The BBC article is the best place to get the info on this history, but here is a summary:
- In 1951 Iranians democratically elected a leader, prime minister Mohammad Mosaddech.
- He decided to nationalize Iran's oil production and facilities for a number of reasons.
- This REALLY ticked off the oil company.
- They and the British government took steps to undermine Mosaddech and re-establish their control over Iranian oil...but they were not successful.
- Becoming more desperate, the British government under Winston Churchill's leadership started calling Mosaddech a socialist, a communist, a dictator etc. despite those things being untrue...and they said these things directly into the ear of the White House and the CIA.
- We bought it and in 1953 helped execute a plan to overthrow Mosaddech and install the Shah (king) of Iran.
- The Shah's regime was so brutal, so repressive and so hated that by 1979, religious factions had galvanized a movement to overthrow the Shah...and they did. You may remember this little episode best by the capture of the US Embassy in Tehran and the holding of US hostages.
- During and after the revolution, the Ayatollah Khomeini became the country's leader. He and then the fundamentalist Islamic movement he created have ruled Iran ever since.
- Unless you are from Mars, you know how this has played out over the past 31 years.