May 1 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. and U.K. went to
war against Iraq because of the Middle East country's
oil reserves, an adviser to British Prime Minister
Tony Blair said.
Jonathan Porritt, head of the Sustainable Development
Commission, which advises Blair's government on
ecological issues, said the prospect of winning
access to Iraqi oil was "a very large factor"
in the allies' decision to attack Iraq in March.
don't think the war would have happened if Iraq
didn't have the second-largest oil reserves in
the world," Porritt said in a Sky News television
of the war, including some members of Blair's
Labour Party, have said that the conflict was
aimed at securing Iraqi reserves to benefit Western
economies and oil companies. U.S. and U.K. leaders
have repeatedly rejected that, saying the war
began because Iraq held illegal weapons and threatened
has said he wants Iraqi oil revenues to be held
in a United Nations-run trust fund and spent on
rebuilding Iraq. Secretary of State Colin Powell
said yesterday the U.S. may encourage Iraq to
set up an oil revenue-sharing system that would
distribute some proceeds from what he called the
"marvelous treasure" to Iraqi citizens.
production in Iraq was halted before the U.S.-led
attack that toppled President Saddam Hussein.
According to UN data, the nation is losing about
$55 million a day in oil revenue as the U.S.,
the European Union and the Iraqi people debate
postwar reconstruction plans.
commission was set up in 2000 to advise the U.K.
government on making economic and business activity
compatible with environmental-protection policies.
The body reports directly to Blair.
isn't the first time Porritt has criticized the
U.K. government. In October 2000, he said Blair
and his ministers had failed to fulfill election
promises on ecological issues.
Posted: May 18, 2004