Jumhouriya al ‘Iraqia (Republic of Iraq)
  • Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Iraq, formerly Mesopotamia, was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1534 until it was captured by British forces in 1916. Under a League of Nations mandate, administered by Britain, Amir Faisal Ibn Hussain was crowned king in 1921. On 3 Oct. 1932 Britain’s mandate expired and Iraq became an independent country. The ruling Hashemite dynasty was overthrown by a military coup on 14 July 1958. King Faisal II and Nuri al Said, the prime minister, were killed. A republic was established, controlled by a military-led Council of Sovereignty under Gen. Qassim. In 1963 Qassim was overthrown and Gen. Abdul Salam Aref became president, with a partial return to a civilian government, but on 17 July 1968 a successful coup was mounted by the Ba’ath Party. Gen. Ahmed Al Bakr became president, prime minister and chairman of a newly established nine-member Revolutionary Command Council. In July 1979 Saddam Hussein, the vice-president and a Sunni Muslim, became president in a peaceful transfer of power.


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Further Reading

  1. Aburish, S. K., Saddam Hussein: The Politics of Revenge. Bloomsbury, London, 2000Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, Liam and Stansfield, Gareth, The Future of Iraq: Dictatorship, Democracy or Division? Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2004Google Scholar
  3. Blix, Hans, Disarming Iraq: The Search for Weapons of Mass Destruction. Bloomsbury. London, 2004Google Scholar
  4. Butler, R., Saddam Defiant: The Threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Crisis of Global Security. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2000Google Scholar
  5. Mackey, Sandra, The Reckoning: Iraq and the Legacy of Saddam Hussein. W. W. Norton, New York, 2002Google Scholar
  6. Sluglett, Marion Farouk and Sluglett, Peter, Iraq Since 1958: From Revolution to Dictatorship. 3rd ed. I. B. Tauris, London, 2001Google Scholar
  7. Tripp, Charles, A History of Iraq. 2nd ed. CUP, 2002Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

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