Iraqi Republic (1958–68)

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Iraqi Republic

الجمهورية العراقية
al-Jumhūrīyah al-'Irāqīyah
كۆماری عێراق
Komar-i 'Êraq
1958–1968
Anthem: "Mawtini" (1958–1965)
(English: "My Country")

"Walla Zaman Ya Selahy" (1965–1968) [1]
والله زمان يا سلاحي
Oh My Weapon
Iraq (orthographic projection).svg
Capital
and largest city
Baghdad
Common languages Arabic
Kurdish
Religion
Islam
Christianity (Catholicism, Iraqi Reformed Church), Zoroastrianism and Yazdanism
Government One-party state under a military junta
President  
 1958-1963
Muhammad Najib
 1963-1966
Abdul Salam Arif
 1966-1968
Abdul Rahman Arif
Prime Minister  
 1958-1963 (first)
Abd al-Karim Qasim
 1967-1968 (last)
Tahir Yahya
Legislature Revolutionary Command Council
Historical era Cold War
14 July 1958
8 February 1963
10–11 November 1963
17 July 1968
Area
1968438,317 km2 (169,235 sq mi)
Population
 1968
9367100
Currency Iraqi dinar (IQD)
ISO 3166 code IQ
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of the Arab Federation.svg Arab Federation
Ba'athist Iraq Flag of Iraq (1963-1991).svg
Today part ofFlag of Iraq.svg  Iraq
Part of a series on the
History of Iraq
m'dhn@ smr (1).jpg
Flag of Iraq.svg Iraqportal

The Iraqi Republic (Arabic : الجمهورية العراقيةal-Jumhūrīyah al-'Irāqīyah) was a state forged in 1958 under the rule of President Muhammad Najib ar-Ruba'i and Prime Minister Abd al-Karim Qasim. ar-Ruba'i and Qasim first came to power through the 14 July Revolution in which the Kingdom of Iraq's Hashemite monarchy was overthrown. As a result, the Kingdom and the Arab Federation were dissolved and the Iraqi republic established. The era ended with the Ba'athist rise to power in 1968.

President of Iraq position

The President of Iraq is the head of state of Iraq and "safeguards the commitment to the Constitution and the preservation of Iraq's independence, sovereignty, unity, the security of its territories in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution". The President is elected by the Council of Representatives by a two-thirds majority, and is limited to two four-year terms. The President is responsible for ratifying treaties and laws passed by the Council of Representatives, issues pardons on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, and performs the "duty of the Higher Command of the armed forces for ceremonial and honorary purposes". Since the mid-2000s, the Presidency is primarily a symbolic office, and by convention since 2005, usually held by a Kurdish Iraqi.

Muhammad Najib ar-Rubai President of Iraq

Muhammad Najib Ar-Ruba'i (1904-1965) was the first President of Iraq from July 14, 1958 to February 8, 1963.

Prime Minister of Iraq position

The Prime Minister of Iraq is the head of government of Iraq. The Prime Minister was originally an appointed office, subsidiary to the head of state, and the nominal leader of the Iraqi parliament. Under the newly adopted constitution the Prime Minister is the country's active executive authority. Nouri al-Maliki was selected to be Prime Minister on 21 April 2006. On 14 August 2014, al-Maliki agreed to step down as prime minister of Iraq to allow Haider al-Abadi to take his place. On 25 October 2018, Adil Abdul-Mahdi was sworn into office five months after the 2018 elections.

Contents

Territorial change

Iraq reverted to control over the territory of the former Kingdom of Iraq and Jordan again became an independent entity.

Territorial aims

Qasim specifically sited the north-south territorial limits from its highest point in the North and lowest point in the South identified in the regime's popular slogan as being "From Zakho in the North to Kuwait in the South", Zakho referring to the border then-and-now between Iraq and Turkey. [2] The Qasim government in Iraq and its supporters supported Kurdish irredentism towards what they called "Kurdistan that is annexed to Iran", implying that Iraq supported unification of Iranian Kurdistan into Iraqi Kurdistan. [3] The Qasim government did not hold territorial claims to Kurdish territories in Turkey, as the Qasim government roughly defined what it considered Iraq's borders in the regime's popular slogan: "From Zakho in the North to Kuwait in the South", Zakho referring to the border then-and-now between Iraq and Turkey. [2] [ repetition ] The Qasim government held an irredentist claim to Khuzestan. [4] It held irredentist claims to Kuwait. [5]

Zakho Place in Kurdistan, Iraq

Zakho is a city in Iraq, at the centre of the eponymous Zakho District of the Dohuk Governorate of Iraqi Kurdistan, located a few kilometers from the Iraqi–Turkish border. The city has a population of 350,000.

Iranian Kurdistan unofficial name for the parts of northwestern Iran inhabited by Kurds

Iranian Kurdistan or Eastern Kurdistan, is an unofficial name for the parts of northwestern Iran inhabited by Kurds which borders Iraq and Turkey. It includes the West Azerbaijan Province, Kurdistan Province and Kermanshah Province

Iraqi Kurdistan Iraqi part of Kurdistan

Iraqi Kurdistan, officially called the Kurdistan Region of Iraq by the Iraqi constitution, is an autonomous region located in northern Iraq. It is also referred to as Southern Kurdistan, as Kurds generally consider it to be one of the four parts of Greater Kurdistan, which also includes parts of southeastern Turkey, northern Syria, and northwestern Iran.

Culture

Abd al-Karim Qasim promoted a civic Iraqi nationalism that recognized Iraq's Arabs and Kurds as equal partners in the state of Iraq, Kurdish language was not only formally legally permitted in Iraq under the Qassim government, but the Kurdish version of the Arabic alphabet was adopted for use by the Iraqi state and the Kurdish language became the medium of instruction in all educational institutions, both in the Kurdish territories and in the rest of Iraq. [6] Under Qassim, Iraqi cultural identity based on Arabo-Kurdish fraternity was stressed over ethnic identity, Qassim's government sought to merge Kurdish nationalism into Iraqi nationalism and Iraqi culture, stating: "Iraq is not only an Arab state, but an Arabo-Kurdish state...[T]he recognition of Kurdish nationalism by Arabs proves clearly that we are associated in the country, that we are Irakians first, Arabs and Kurds later". [7] The Qassim government and its supporters supported Kurdish irredentism towards what they called "Kurdistan that is annexed to Iran", implying that Iraq held irredentist claims on Iran's Kurdish populated territories that it supported being united with Iraq. [3] The Qassim government's pro-Kurdish policies including a statement promising "Kurdish national rights within Iraqi unity" and open attempts by Iraq to coopt Iranian Kurds to support unifying with Iraq resulted in Iran responding by declaring Iran's support for the unification of all Kurds who were residing in Iraq and Syria, into Iran. [8] Qassim's initial policies towards Kurds were very popular amongst Kurds across the Middle East whom in support of his policies called Qassim "the leader of the Arabs and the Kurds". [3]

Abd al-Karim Qasim Prime Minister of Iraq

Abd Al-Karim Qasim Muhammed Bakr Al-Fadhli Al-Zubaidi was an Iraqi Army brigadier and nationalist who seized power when the Iraqi monarchy was overthrown during the 14 July Revolution. He ruled the country as the 24th Prime Minister until his downfall and death during the 1963 Ramadan Revolution.

Iraqi nationalism

Iraqi nationalism is a form of nationalism which asserts the belief that Iraqis are a nation and promotes the cultural unity of Iraqis, of all ethnoreligious groups; Mesopotamian Arabs, Chaldo-Assyrians, Kurds, Yazidis, Mandeans, Shabaks, Turkmen, Kawliya, Dom, Yarsans, and others. Iraqi nationalism involves the recognition of an Iraqi identity stemming from ancient Mesopotamia including its civilizations of Sumer, Akkad, Babylonia and Assyria. Iraqi nationalism influenced Iraq's movement for independence from Ottoman and British occupation. Iraqi nationalism was an important factor in the 1920 Revolution against British occupation, and the 1958 Revolution against the British-installed Hashemite monarchy.

Kurdish nationalism political ideology

Kurdish nationalism holds that the Kurdish people are deserving of a sovereign nation that would be partitioned out of areas in Turkey, northern Iraq, and Syria based on the promised nation of Kurdistan under the Treaty of Sèvres.

Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani during his alliance with Qassim and upon Qassim granting him the right to return to Iraq from exile imposed by the former monarchy, declared support of the Kurdish people for being citizens of Iraq, saying in 1958 "On behalf of all my Kurdish brothers who have long struggled, once again I congratulate you [Qassim] and the Iraqi people, Kurds and Arabs, for the glorious Revolution putting an end to imperialism and the reactionary and corrupt monarchist gang". [9] Barzani also commended Qassim for allowing Kurdish refugee diaspora to return to Iraq and declared his loyalty to Iraq, saying "Your Excellency, leader of the people: I take this opportunity to tender my sincere appreciation and that of my fellow Kurdish refugees in the Socialist countries for allowing us to return to our beloved homeland, and to join in the honor of defending the great cause of our people, the cause of defending the republic and its homeland." [9]

Mustafa Barzani 20th-century Kurdish nationalist

Mustafa Barzani also known as Mullah Mustafa, was a Kurdish nationalist leader, and one of the most prominent political figures in modern Kurdish politics. In 1946, he was chosen as the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to lead the Kurdish revolution against Iraqi regimes, although at times he also allied himself to the Iranian government. Barzani was the primary political and military leader of the Kurdish revolution until his death in March 1979. He led campaigns of armed struggle against both the Iraqi and Iranian governments.

A refugee, generally speaking, is a displaced person who has been forced to cross national boundaries and who cannot return home safely. Such a person may be called an asylum seeker until granted refugee status by the contracting state or the UNHCR if they formally make a claim for asylum. The lead international agency coordinating refugee protection is the United Nations Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The United Nations have a second Office for refugees, the UNRWA, which is solely responsible for supporting the large majority of Palestinian refugees.

Diaspora dispersion of ethnic communities

A diaspora (/daɪˈæspərə/) is a scattered population whose origin lies in a separate geographic locale. In particular, diaspora has come to refer to involuntary mass dispersions of a population from its indigenous territories, most notably the expulsion of Jews from the Land of Israel and the fleeing of Greeks after the fall of Constantinople. Other examples are the African transatlantic slave trade, the southern Chinese or Indians during the coolie trade, the Irish during and after the Irish Famine, the Romani from India, the Italian diaspora, the exile and deportation of Circassians, and the emigration of Anglo-Saxon warriors and their families after the Norman Conquest of England.

Economy

Under the Qasim regime, the Iraqi government in its actions and documents on the economy promoted nine economic principles: (1) economic planning over the whole economy; (2) dismantling monopolies and strengthening the middle class; (3) liberating the economy from imperialism; (4) abolition of the land tenure system; (5) establishing trade with all countries; (6) closer economic ties with Arab countries; (7) expanding the public sector; (8) encouragement of the private sector; and (9) creating a higher rate of economic growth. [10]

History (1958–1968)

Precursor to republican revolution

Political problems

During and after World War II, the UK reoccupied Iraq due to the 1941 Iraqi coup d'état in which four nationalist Iraqi generals, with German intelligence and military assistance, overthrew Regent 'Abd al-Ilah and Prime Minister Nuri al-Said and installed Rashid Ali as Prime Minister of Iraq. Ali was eventually ousted by the British and 'Abd al-Ilah and al-Said retook power. In 1947, the Iraqis started to negotiate a British withdrawal, and finally negotiated the treaty at Portsmouth on January 15, 1948, which stipulated the creation of a joint British and Iraqi joint defense board that oversaw Iraqi military planning and British control of Iraqi foreign affairs. [11]

Anglo-Iraqi War war

The Anglo–Iraqi War was a British-led Allied military campaign against the Kingdom of Iraq led by the Axis aligned government of Rashid Ali, which had seized power during the Second World War. The campaign resulted in the downfall of Ali's government, the re-occupation of Iraq by the British Empire, and the return to power of the Regent of Iraq, Prince 'Abd al-Ilah, an ally to imperial Britain.

The 1941 Iraqi coup d'état, also called the Rashid Ali Al-Gaylani coup or the Golden Square coup, was a nationalist and pro-Nazi Coup d'état in Iraq on 1 April 1941 that overthrew the pro-British regime of Regent 'Abd al-Ilah and his Prime Minister Nuri al-Said and installed Rashid Ali al-Gaylani as Prime Minister.

Regional rivalries

Regional rivalries played a huge role in the 14 July Revolution. Pan-Arab and Arab Nationalist sentiment circulated in the Middle East and was proliferated by an anti-imperialist revolutionary, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt. During and after World War II, The Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq was home to a number of Arab nationalist sympathizers. Arab nationalists viewed the Hashemite Monarchy as too beholden to British and Western interests. This anti-Hashemite sentiment grew from a politicized educational system in Iraq and an increasingly assertive and educated bourgeoisie. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Said expressed his interest in pursuing the idea of a federation of Arab States of the Fertile Crescent, and helped to create the Arab Federation of Iraq and Jordan, but reserved his enthusiasm about a Nasser espoused pan-Arab state. Al-Said joined the Arab league in 1944 on Iraq's behalf seeing it as a providing a forum for bringing together the Arab states, leaving the door open for a possible future federation. The charter of the League enshrined the principle of the autonomy for each Arab state and referenced pan-Arabism only rhetorically.

Economic issues

Iraq was just coming out of World War II, and as much of the rest of the world, was war torn. The war had caused a huge increase in inflation and a drop in the quality of life of the Iraqi people. Prime Minister Nuri Al-Said and the Arab Nationalist regent, Abd al-Ilah, continually clashed on economic policy. Instead of cooperating to improve the quality of life for the Iraqi people and cut inflation, the Prime Minister and the regent could not agree on a cohesive economic policy.

Social unrest

Educated elites in Iraq began dabbling in the ideals espoused by Nasser's pan-Arabism movement. Within the officer corps of the Iraqi military, pan-Arab nationalism began to take root. The policies of Al-Said were disliked by certain individuals within the Iraqi military, and opposition groups began to form, modeled upon the Egyptian Free Officers Movement which had overthrown the Egyptian monarchy in 1952.

14 July Revolution

On 14 July 1958, a group that identified as the "Free Officers", a secret military group led by General Abd al-Karim Qasim, overthrew the monarchy. This group was markedly Pan-Arab in character. King Faisal II, the Regent and Crown Prince Abd al-Ilah, and Nuri al-Said were all killed.

Domestic reforms

The Revolution brought Muhammad Najib ar-Ruba'i and Abd al-Karim Qasim to power. Qasim's regime implemented a number of domestic changes to Iraqi society.

Mosul Uprising

Opposition to Qasim from Arab Nationalist forces within the army culminated in the 1959 Mosul Uprising, which was an attempted coup launched with support from the United Arab Republic. Despite attracting support from local Arab tribes, the Mosul-based leadership of the coup was defeated in a number of days by loyal forces from within the Iraqi Army supported by the Iraqi Communist Party and local Kurdish tribes. Following the defeat of the coup Mosul was the scene of several days of unprecedented violence as all groups engaged in score-settling, using the post-coup chaos as a smokescreen, resulting in thousands of deaths.

Qasim's use of the Iraqi Communist Party to help put down the rebellion, and their growing strength within Iraq, convinced the Ba'ath Party in Iraq that the only way to stop the spread of the communists was to overthrow Qasim.

Ramadan Revolution

On 8 February 1963, Qasim was overthrown by a coup led by a mixture of the Ba'ath Party and sympathetic Arab Nationalist groups in the Iraqi Armed Forces. Qasim was unpopular in the Ba'ath Party and among Arab Nationalists largely for his focus on Iraqi Nationalism, as opposed to Arab Nationalism, and also because he was seen as being too close to the Iraqi Communist Party, which both groups viewed with a deep suspicion. Conflict between Qasim and certain officers of the Iraqi Armed Forces made them sympathetic to the idea of a coup.

Following Qasim's overthrow and execution members of the Ba'ath Party engaged in a house to house hunt for communists. Total deaths from the communist purge and the coup were around 5,000.

Ar-Rashid revolt

Although the Iraqi Communist Party had been greatly weakened by the anti-Leftists purges following the Ramadan Revolution, there still existed pockets of support for the party, particularly in Baghdad, which hosted some of the most militant party cells. A plan was eventually hatched and was put into action on 3 July 1963. The plan called for a mixture of 2,000 party members and rebel soldiers to take control over ar-Rashid army base in Baghdad, where 1,000 Qasim supporters and communists were being held, in the belief that the freed former officers could provide leadership and encourage other army units across Iraq to join the rebellion. The coup faced an unexpected level of opposition from the prison guards at the base, preventing them from releasing the officers and spreading the rebellion. The base was surrounded by forces from the Ba'ath Party National Guard Militia and the coup was put down.

Notes

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/ .

  1. "Iraq (1965-1981)". www.nationalanthems.info.
  2. 1 2 Yitzhak Oron, Ed. Middle East Record Volume 2, 1961. Pp. 281.
  3. 1 2 3 Wadie Jwaideh. The Kurdish national movement: its origins and development. Syracuse, New York, USA: Syracuse University Press, 2006. Pp. 289.
  4. Helen Chapin Metz. Iraq A Country Study. Kessinger Publishing, 2004 Pp. 65.
  5. Raymond A. Hinnebusch. The international politics of the Middle East. Manchester, England, UK: Manchester University Press, 2003 Pp. 209.
  6. By Kerim Yildiz, Georgina Fryer, Kurdish Human Rights Project. The Kurds: culture and language rights. Kurdish Human Rights Project, 2004. Pp. 58
  7. Denise Natali. The Kurds and the state: evolving national identity in Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. Syracuse, New York, USA: Syracuse University Press, 2005. Pp. 49.
  8. Roby Carol Barrett. "The greater Middle East and the Cold War: US foreign policy under Eisenhower and Kennedy", Library of international relations, Volume 30. I.B.Tauris, 2007. Pp. 90-91.
  9. 1 2 Masʻūd Bārzānī, Ahmed Ferhadi. Mustafa Barzani and the Kurdish liberation movement (1931-1961). New York, New York, USA; Hampshire, England, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. Pp. 180-181.
  10. Abbas Alnasrawi. "The economy of Iraq: oil, wars, destruction of development and prospects, 1950-2010", Issue 154 of Contributions in economics and economic history. ABC-CLIO, 2004. Pp. 37.
  11. Eppel, Michael. "The Elite, the Effendiyya, and the Growth of Nationalism and Pan-Arabism in Hashemite Iraq, 1921-1958". International Journal of Middle East Studies, 30.2 (1998). page 74.

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