Because BP, the most vilified company on earth, was once the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company during which period it acted as an unofficial arm of the British government, helping to engineer a coup in Iran in the 1950s which brought the Shah of Persia to the throne.
Anglo-Iranian is hardly a starter of course, as Robert Peston observes on BBC online today. All things Iran are even more unpopular in the US than even BP.
But BP needs to up its game dramatically. Barack Obama has summoned BP’s mute chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg to a White House meeting next week.
BP would have done better with Sven-Goran Eriksson.