Although foreigners discovered oil in the Persian Gulf and were instrumental in its production and export, they have not always been helpful toward the region’s human, economic, and political development. They have on balance played a selfish role in the region; first by financially exploiting oil-exporting countries during the early years after discovering their oil and then by supporting autocratic and unaccountable dictators in the region, support that has invariably been tied to continued rewards from the exploitation of oil and gas resources in the region. Today, foreigners, principally the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, claim that they support political, social, and economic reforms as they prop up their favorite dictators and claim that their backing is intended for stability and the free flow of oil at a reasonable price for the world. But foreigners, be they countries, corporations, or individuals, have acted in support of their own perceived interests, with little or no regard for the fallout for the people and countries in the region.
KeywordsSaudi Arabia Middle East Sovereign Wealth Fund Foreign Power Iranian Revolution
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- 1.Harden, Blaine, “Saudis Seek U.S. Muslims for Their Sect,” New York Times, October 20, 2001, referenced by Bard, Mitchell, in The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance that Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East (New York: Harper, August 2010).Google Scholar