Nationalization of the Oil Industry
That the Baath regime succeeded in consolidating its position and even strengthening it during the 1970s can
be credited largely to a sharp increase in oil revenues.
The nationalization of the Iraq Petroleum Company in June 1972 and the enormous increase in income from the sale of crude oil after the ‘oil crisis’ of 1973 greatly expanded Baghdad’s financial maneuvering room.
Much of that income was applied to the expansion and improvement of the infrastructure and to various social programs, including housing, education, and health care. This led, during the 1970s, to an improvement in living standards for much of the population.
In foreign policy, Iraq hardened its position towards the West. The nationalization of Western European and US petroleum interests led to the predictable tensions, largely because this was done in close cooperation with the Soviet Union. These were the years during which Iraq, with Algeria and Iran, played a leading role in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The ruler of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, played an important role in the West’s efforts to destabilize Iraq by supporting Iraqi opposition groups. The Baath regime allied itself with the USSR in order to counter this opposition. The anti-Communist history of the Baath Party and the regime was no obstacle to Moscow in initiating these relations.
© Copyright Notice
Click on link to view the associated photo/image:
We would like to ask you something …
Fanack is an independent media organisation, not funded by any state or any interest group, that distributes in the Middle East and the wider world unbiased analysis and background information, based on facts, about the Middle East and North Africa.
The website grew rapidly in breadth and depth and today forms a rich and valuable source of information on 21 countries, from Morocco to Oman and from Iran to Yemen, both in Arabic and English. We currently reach six million readers annually and growing fast.
In order to guarantee the impartiality of information on the Chronicle, articles are published without by-lines. This also allows correspondents to write more freely about sensitive or controversial issues in their country. All articles are fact-checked before publication to ensure that content is accurate, current and unbiased.