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Iraqi Oil

             For more than a century, major powers have tried to control an enormous source of wealth and power in the Middle East. This enormous source is known as oil. Oil is plentiful in the Middle East with the two largest holders, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, managing the oil price time bomb. Iraq has been at the center of a major crisis with many countries wanting to control the flow of oil. Many questions are asked: Why do other countries want to control Iraqi oil? How far will they go? What events has Iraq gone through to try and keep their oil nationalized?.
             During the World War I era, many major powers viewed controlling oil fields as a crucial military asset, due to many new vehicles(ships, tanks, cars, trucks, planes, etc.) which relied on the use of oil to operate. These major powers also knew that oil would become very popular outside the war community and would become a fundamental aspect in the economic strengthening of those who controlled it. German and British oil companies negotiated joint ownership of the Turkish Petroleum Company which would produce oil in Mesopotamia(now know as Iraq). A little while later the first world war broke out. Britain knew oil would be crucial and the Secretary of the British Cabinet , Sir Maurice Hankey stated: "Control of these oil suppliers becomes a first-class war aim." This statement was made as British troops attacked Baghdad. But what they did not realize was Britain gave up much of northern Iraq to their French ally in an accord called the Sykes-Picot Accord in 1916. Later in 1924, France wanted to get into producing oil so they developed the Compagnie Francaise des Petroles to develop it's share of Mesopotamia.
             During this period, Germany was stripped of all oil right and the three main super powers, who came out of Word War I victorious, shared out Iraqi oil amongst themselves. These three super powers were France, Britain, and the United States.

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