L’Italia e il regime baathista iracheno nei difficili anni Settanta


At the end of the 60’s, as a result of a military coup, Iraqi Ba’ath Party seized power under the leadership of Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, named president of Iraq, and Saddam Hussein, al-Bakr’s deputy, but actually the strong man and the moving force behind the new Ba’athist regime. The Ba’athist government immediately addressed the country’s major domestic problems, such as controlling domestic oil resources and developing an independent national oil industry, which until then had been owned and managed by some of the largest oil companies in the Western world. The nationalization of the Iraqi oil supplies, decided by the Ba’athist regime in 1972 interlocked with the Arab-Israel dispute and the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, which led – as is known to the energy crisis of 1973, with sharp increases in oil prices, production cutbacks and destination embargos by the Arab Countries. In view of the growing economic and political role of the Arab Countries and of Iraq in particular, Italy called for a policy aimed at supporting Arab stance in the dispute with Israel and concluding agreements with Ba’athist regime in order to obtain large quantities of crude oil in exchange of goods and services, so as to contribute to local economic development. Even though it was a time of social and political turmoil in Italy, marked by a wave of terrorism and unrest, Italy’s «oil-for-goods» strategy towards Iraq was quite successful, as Italian State and private companies obtained major contracts covering a variety of important projects, so much so that during the 70’s Iraq became one of Italy’s main oil suppliers.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22808949a3n2p31

Keywords: Italy; Iraq; Italy’s Relations with Ba’athist regime+E8

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