RUMI shirts by Arash Norouzi

The Gulf Coast Oil Spill, One Year Later
Our Comments in Portugese National Magazine PÚBLICO

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | July 15, 2011                     

BP Gulf Coast Oil Spill, 2010 One year ago today, after an unimaginable 87 straight days, the catastrophic BP oil spill which contaminated the U.S. Gulf Coast with millions of gallons of loose crude was finally capped. The incident began with a bang on April 11, 2010, when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 oil workers and injuring 17 others. By its end, the oil leak had caused untold environmental and economic damage.

For three months, the disaster captured the attention of the world, transfixed by the seemingly endless stream of black oil gushing into the ocean. At the center of this focus was the chief culprit, British Petroleum (BP). For the United States, whose decision to side with BP and its principal shareholder, Britain, in the early 1950's — culminating in the 1953 coup — led to over 30 years of hostile US-Iran relations, and now, the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history, it all felt like karmic retribution. And everyone seemed to be wondering, who is this "BP", anyway?

In Portugal, national news magazine PÚBLICO featured a 12 page illustrated story on the spill, with reporting from the scene in Louisiana. The article ended with a supplemental portion "O Irão foi primera victima da bp" ("Iran was the primary victim of BP"), tracing BP's history in Iran when it was known b its former name, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Some of our quoted comments were included in this section, which were translated into Portugese.

PÚBLICO Magazine - June 13, 2010

Arash Norouzi quotes “The parallels of the current BP disaster with the Anglo-Iranian crisis in Iran over half a century ago are indeed ironic.”

Arash Norouzi quotes “BP is a foreign oil company operating on American soil with little regard for the welfare of its citizens or environment. While the Gulf coast may not be the British colonial paradise of Abadan in the 1950’s, the disaster’s unjust economic effect on working people is similarly devastating. The ecological impact of the BP oil spill, like the consequences of the 1953 CIA coup in Iran, are enormous, longterm, and in the truest sense, irreparable.

Perhaps Americans will find the nationalist struggle led by Dr. Mossadegh decades ago more relatable. Back then, Iran was BP’s victim. Today, it’s America.”


Related links:

BP’s Role in Destroying Democracy in Iran

Brazilian Politician Aldo Rebelo Tweets About Mossadegh: July 2011

Abadan: The First Oil Crisis [BBC VIDEO]

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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