The International Federation of Petroleum Workers (IFPW) was an international trade secretariat based in the United States and secretly funded by the U.S. government. The federation supported the Kennedy administration's policy of rapprochement with Iraq during the country's first Ba’thist regime by defending the regime against criticism of its violent suppression of the Iraqi Communist Party and by fostering the development of Ba’thist-led Iraqi labor unions, free of Communist influence. Simultaneously, left-wing Ba’thist union leaders strove to establish an autonomous, radically democratic, and nonaligned labor movement in the face of their own government's efforts to subordinate unions to government control. The leftist labor leaders also confronted the Iraq Petroleum Company as it attempted to reduce the size of its Iraqi work force. The IFPW focused solely on Cold War goals and did not support the union organizers in their struggles for either labor autonomy or economic security for oil workers.

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