Speaking on Friday on the sidelines of the fourth International Workshop on Oil and Gas Depletion in Lisbon, Portugal, Meacher, a member of the British parliament, said: "The reason they attacked Iraq is nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, it was nothing to do with democracy in Iraq, it was nothing to do with the human rights abuses of Saddam Hussein."

 

When asked by Aljazeera.net whether the war in Iraq was about oil he said: "The connection is 100%. It is absolutely overwhelming."

 

Meacher connected the wars in Iraq with a desire by US and UK interests to dominate oil supplies in times of increasing market volatility. He also thought the war was designed to pressure Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil supplier.

 

Middle East control?

 

"It was principally, totally and comprehensively to do with oil," Meacher continued. "This was about assuming control over the Middle East and over Iraq, the second largest producer and also over Saudi Arabia next door.

 

Meacher criticised Bush and Blair
for going to war for oil interests

"It was about securing as much as possible of the remaining supplies of oil and also over the Caspian basin, which of course is Afghanistan."

 

Meacher also said the US had poor environmental standards.

 

"American power plants waste more energy than is needed to run the whole Japanese economy," he said. "They have set their face against the Kyoto protocol."

 

He then went on to talk of "apocalyptic" energy problems facing the world, including the possibilities of serious shortages in the world oil supply due to ongoing field depletion.

 

Meacher painted a picture of spiralling oil costs as high as "$100 or $150 a barrel" creating massive social dislocation. These difficulties could cause "war, revolutions and migration on a scale we have never before seen", he said.