The Middle East, Oil, and the Great Powers

The Middle East, Oil, and the Great Powers

The Middle East, Oil, and the Great Powers

The Middle East, Oil, and the Great Powers

Excerpt

IN DEALING with the issues and problems involved in the development of the oil resources of Iran and the subsequent effects on the political, social and economic patterns of the country, as well as on the relations between the great Powers who were vying among themselves for concessions and their respective relations with Iran, one must keep in mind the difference in civilizations and standards of values between those who granted concessions and those who obtained them. It is only with such a basic approach that it is possible to understand the nature of the concessions originally granted, and the subsequent cancellations, expropriation and nationalization. Only these differences -- in standard of personal and public behavior and general knowledge, and above all in scientific knowledge -- between the leaders of the Iranian Government on the one side and the representatives of the concessionaires on the other can explain the fact that the concessions were granted at all; the nature and character of each concession were determined by the stage of the general development of the Iranian leadership. As the country advanced and it was realized what had been signed away, the old concession was cancelled and a new one was elaborated which served until a still higher stage of progress was attained. The latest manifestation of this process are the new agreements with the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and the international oil consortium. Whether the next stage of progress in Iranian development will invalidate these latest agreements and necessitate a new solution will depend not only on internal Iranian conditions, but more than ever on a complex of external conditions in the Middle East in particular, and in the world in general.

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