BP’s genesis began with the discovery of oil in Iran in 1908 by William Knox D’Arcy and became the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. In 1923, Winston Churchill was secretly paid 5000 British pounds to lobby the British government in order to create a monopoly over Iranian oil. In 1951, the pro-Western Prime Minister was assassinated and the Iranian Parliament nationalized the oil industry by unanimous vote, and elected a new nationalist Prime Minister, Mossadeq. By 1953, the CIA, with British support, led a coup against Mossadeq and he was ousted.
In 1954 the Anglo- Iranian Oil Company changed its name to British Petroleum and became an international consortium that shared profits with Iran at a 50-50 split. The company was 40% owned by Iran, 40% owned by 5 American companies and 20% owned by Royal Dutch Shell and the French Petroleum Company. No Iranians were allowed on the Board of Directors or to audit the company. The 5 American companies include Exxon, Gulf Oil, Mobil, Standard Oil and Texaco; all of which were controlled, merged or or owned by parent companies affiliated with the Rockefeller family over time.