In our society, oil is one of the core requirements. Whether it is to drive from a point A to a point B or to fly between distant countries, oil always had a fundamental impact on our civilization. Its impact is felt, on a daily basis and under many aspects. Not a day goes by without hearing about the Brent's changing undulation, on the markets in New York or London. Some have thought that the desire to gain control of Iran's oil resources was the core of the CIA's intervention in that country, in the 1950s. In recent years, it was considered, by left-wing groups, that the war in Iraq was based upon an attempt of foreign control over the Iraqi petroleum resources. Even though both events have an unquestioned place within the region's politics and history, they will not be part of this paper's analytic structure. In lieu of that, it will talk about the 1973-1974 oil embargo and determine which theory could provide an explanation to such a move. This paper will elaborate on the previous embargoes used in the region's recent history, before thoroughly examine the 1973 embargo.
Regional history (1956-1973)
1956 : Suez crisis and Iranian oil nationalization
1956 marked the first time the Arab oil-exporting countries decided to use oil as a weapon, to achieve their political goals. That year, Egypt's Nasser decided to nationalize the Suez Canal. For the Egyptian leader, the Canal symbolized foreign exploitation, in Egypt. By doing such a move, the leader thought that he'd give an economic independence to his country. This move made by the patriarch of Nasserism caused retaliation from 3 military forces: the British, the French and the Israeli. On the other side of the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia saw all that was happening with its neighbor. During the 1956 crisis, the Saudis decided to block all exportation to Britain and France but avoided cutting its oil production. From a political perspective, the 1956 crisis was both a victory and a defeat, for Egypt and its president. Despite losing the war, Nasser still rose from the crisis as a powerful national and regional player. The emergence of Nasserism, which included notions of leftism, Arab nationalism and socialism, as well as republicanism, was one of the many political outcomes of this crisis. Nasser's foreign policy, at the time of the crisis, was one of positive neutralism, in that sense that he received help both from the White House and the Kremlin. Although they were in a coalition during the Suez Crisis, Nasser was the antithesis of King Saud. The monarch felt that Nasser's Pan-Arabism was a secular menace to his own regime. There was also another essential player in the Middle East's political sphere: Mohammed Mossadegh. Iran was a pathfinder in the oil sphere, since it was the first country to nationalize its oil production, in 1951. That year, Mossadegh nationalized the national assets of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, which later became known as BP. Like his...