What the latest secret government file tells us about UK Middle East policy

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 31 May 2019 The British government is refusing to release a 1941 file on Palestine, as it might “undermine the security” of Britain and its citizens. Why would a 78-year-old document be seen as so sensitive in 2019? One plausible reason is that it could embarrass the British government in […]

Permanent Under Secretary’s Planning Committee, ‘Country assessment sheets’, 8 November 1974

“Country assessment sheet: Iran” “Iran is basically pro-Western and is rapidly approaching major economic and political status in the world”. Iran provided 19% of UK oil supplies in 1973. “In addition British oil companies earn substantial amounts of foreign exchange from oil obtained from Iran. BP have an arrangement whereby they can pick up 20% […]

Kuwait: Defending a regime, fabricating a threat

This is an edited extract from Web of Deceit: Britain’s Real Role in the World by Mark Curtis The 1991 Gulf War against Iraq was not the first time Britain had conducted a military intervention in support of Kuwait; Britain also intervened in Kuwait thirty years before. Then, Britain was desperate to protect its oil […]

‘The Main Objectives of the United Kingdom’s Overseas and Strategic Policy’, January 1960

Cabinet Office, ‘Future Policy Study 1960-70: Part III: The Main Objectives of the United Kingdom’s Overseas and Strategic Policy’, January 1960 ‘We have the capacity to play a world-wide role only if we are willing as a nation to devote our actions and resources to this purpose. There are many desirable ways of using our […]