Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Tell us it's "not about oil" again

NZ Herald article:

Memos show link between oil and invasion

Plans to exploit Iraq's oil reserves were discussed by British Government ministers and the world's largest oil companies the year before the country took a leading role in invading Iraq, Government documents show.

Revealed for the first time, the papers raise new questions over Britain's involvement in the war, which had divided then Prime Minister Tony Blair's Cabinet and was voted through only after he claimed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.


Foreign Office memo, November 13, 2002, following meeting with BP: "Iraq is the big oil prospect. BP are desperate to get in there and anxious that political deals should not deny them the opportunity to compete. The long-term potential is enormous."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, February 6, 2003: "The oil conspiracy theory is honestly one of the most absurd when you analyse it. The fact is that, if the oil that Iraq has were our concern, I mean we could probably cut a deal with Saddam tomorrow in relation to the oil. It's not the oil that is the issue, it is the weapons ... "

BP, March 12, 2003: "We have no strategic interest in Iraq. If whoever comes to power wants Western involvement post the war, if there is a war, all we have ever said is that it should be on a level playing field."

Shell, March 12, 2003: "We have neither sought nor attended meetings with officials in the UK Government on the subject of Iraq."

Full article