European Oil Companies and Pre-2003 Iraq

Since Gulf War One in 1991, during which The Arab Republic Of Iraq’s Armed Forces under late President Saddam Hussein’s Command invaded tiny neighbor Kingdom Of Kuwait, Iraq has been victim of a terrible embargo and submitted to an “Oil For Food” program. Although the oil deliveries and imported goods in Iraq should have been strictly and closely watched after by The United Nations, some high regime figures in cooperation with Western, and mainly European, businessmen sold oil outside the frame of the “Oil For Food” program under fake companies or pretended humanitarian organizations. But amongst all oil companies who took advantage of the situation, none did more than French ones. Indeed, France used to be before and after 1991 the closest Western country to the Saddam Regime. For instance, they provided him with a nuclear reactor in the 80’s . After the 2003 Iraq War, discovered and declassified documents showed that French oil companies were extremely closely tied with the Iraqi regime concerning their major oil deliveries destined to their consumers. These ties were born not only from the “traditional” fact that France is a close partner of Saddam but also through corruption of Iraqi Regime VIPs in order to be awarded geographic concessions over the oil-rich Iraqi oilfields such as Majnoon in Southern Iraq or Mosul in Northern Iraq, all this resulted in huge project worth billions of dollars such as Bin Umar Project three point four billion dollars for the development and the exploitation of Majnoon Oilfield. According to The French Justice, the corruption for the awarding of concessions or access to oil reserves was conducted through subsidiaries of the oil companies in “tax heavens” such as Bermuda and the Bahamas and their connections in Switzerland, mainly in Geneva. It is said that between 1996 and 2001, nearly twenty million dollars were transferred through those subsidiaries and Swiss connections to offshore accounts in Tax Heavens in the Caribbean Sea. Other discovered documents showed that US oil companies as well took advantage of the situation making secret deals in order to use excess capacity of French pipelines in Iraq to award themselves as well a bit of the Iraqi oil, and this outside the frame of the “Oil For Food” UN program.

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