Dive into the turbulent history of oil in Iran, where George Reynolds, a self-taught geologist funded by Aussie entrepreneur William Knox D’Arcy, battled smallpox, bandits, and desert heat to uncover the largest oil field ever found. Reynolds’ discovery catapulted Iran into the global energy arena, but not without exploitation and strife. D’Arcy and the Scots invested heavily in what became the Anglo-Persian Oil Company—later BP—creating a colonial empire in Abadan that funneled wealth away from Iranians. Winston Churchill recognized the geopolitical prize, leading the British government to buy a majority stake in the company. Despite internal revolutions, worker strikes, and the rise of nationalist figures like Mohammad Mossadegh, the relationship between Iran and Britain remained fraught, embedded in a complex web of financial and political interests. From world wars to the overthrow of regimes, the story of Iranian oil is a saga of ambition, betrayal, and raw power.
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