Oil and Iran
Need help with a research paper? What follows is an example of a research paper topic on Oil and Iran that our writers have created. They chose to focus on all of the nations of the Middle East, that had granted oil concessions to a foreign corporation in the early twentieth century.
Oil has been a pivotal issue for the nations of the Middle East for the last half century. The wealth that it has provided not only has helped develop their economies in areas other than oil production, but has also become a means for these nations to assert their independence from foreign intervention. This has often led to conflict within both producer and non-producer nations.
- In Iran, oil production was initially used as a means to technologically modernize the nation, which stimulated an Islamic fundamentalist reaction.
- Lebanon, in contrast, was not an oil-producing nation, yet at one time envisioned itself as the supplier of support services to its neighbors.
Iran, like all of the nations of the Middle East, had granted oil concessions to a foreign corporation in the early twentieth century. By the late 1940's, Iran realized that royalties from the concession to Anglo-Iranian Oil had become a major source of revenue and asked for a fifty-fifty profit sharing agreement similar to the one granted to Venezuela. When the company refused, nationalist sentiment propelled Mohammad Mosaddeq to become Prime Minister. Under his leadership, Parliament nationalized the oil assets in 1953. Since Iran lacked the means to refine and transport the oil, however, its revenues declined. Civil strife followed and the Shah appointed General Zahedj as Prime Minister to restore order. Mosaddeq was seen by many as a martyr to the Shah's repression, a perception that would linger for decades.
Iran became one of the founding members of OPEC in 1960, but the organization was not effective in controlling the price of oil until the early 1970s. Iran followed the OPEC policy of gradually becoming less reliant on foreign companies and technology. In addition, it was in agreement with the other Middle Eastern nations who were beginning to explore the possibility of using oil as a political weapon. The Shah, however, realized that Iranian oil reserves were limited and tried bolster other aspects of the economy with oil revenues.