U.S., Britain Developed Plans to Disable or Destroy Middle Eastern Oil Facilities

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tags: Cold War, Russia, oil, USSR



Recently discovered British documents posted today by the National Security Archive provide a new and revealing account of the CIA’s role in a top-secret plan to ravage the Middle East oil industry. As early as 1949, President Harry Truman approved methods for keeping the Soviet military from using Middle East petroleum if it ever invaded the region. This denial policy called for American and British oil companies in the Middle East to disable or destroy oil facilities and equipment, and plug the region’s oil wells.

The policy evolved during Eisenhower’s presidency and lingered at least into the Kennedy administration, as described in today’s posting.

British documents also reveal discussions about using nuclear weapons in Iran and Iraq. For a time, British military officials believed nuclear bombs were an option to destroy these facilities until a plan using ground demolitions with conventional explosives was possible.





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