Iraq

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Information about Iraq
Education

Published on March 3, 2008

Author: Prudenza

Source: authorstream.com

Iraq: Facts:  Iraq: Facts Population 17.9 million (1991 estimate) Language: Official language is Arabic (spoken by about 80% of population; 15% speak Kurdish) Religion: Sunni (Iraq’s regime) and Twelver Shia (more conservative) Islam (95%) Ethnic groups: Arab (72%), Kurds (23%), the Kurds are mainly based on the north and the north-west of the country Recent History:  Recent History 1920 – Placed under a League of Nations’ mandate, administered by Great Britain Provided the country with a constitution and a bicameral legislature. Put in place King Faisal I A 25 year Treaty of Alliance was signed On October 3, 1932, the British mandate ended and Iraq was established as an independent state. British retained military bases and continued to exercise strong political and military influence in the country. The Iraq Petroleum Company was a conglomerate of British, French and U.S. interests. King Faisal I (1885-1933) Recent History:  Recent History King Faisal I died in 1933 but the regimes under King Ghazi I (son) and King Faisal II (grandson) continued to be pro-British. The Baghdad Pact was signed in 1955, which was an agreement on collective regional security, urged upon Iraq by the British. King Faisal II (1935-1958) King Ghazi I (1912-1939) Revolution:  Revolution A military revolution overthrew King Faisal II on 14 July 1958, and a left-wing nationalist regime under the leadership of Brigadier Abdul-Karim Kassem came to power. Iraq withdrew from the Baghdad Pact in 1959. Kassem was assassinated in 1963. A bloody and violent Ba'thist Arab nationalist regime under Colonel Abdul Salem Arif resulted. He was succeeded by his brother, Abdul Rahman Arif in 1966. Abdul-Karim Kassem (1914-1963) Abdul Salam Arif (1921-1966) Abdul Rahman Arif (1918-) The Ba'athist Revolution of 1968 :  The Ba'athist Revolution of 1968 The foundations of the modern regime in Iraq were laid with the seizure of power by the Arab Renaissance (Ba'ath) Socialist Party on July 17 1968. Major General Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr became President and Prime Minister of Iraq, his deputy was Saddam Hussein. The regime undertook wide-ranging social and economic reforms to try and increase its popularity. It nationalized the Iraqi Petroleum Company and was bolstered by rises in oil prices in 1972 and 1974, following the Arab-Israeli war. Ahmed Hasan al-Bakr (1914-1982) The Kurds in Iraq:  The Kurds in Iraq In March 1970 an agreement was reached between the government and the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), over the establishment of an autonomous Kurdish area. However, it quickly became clear that the promises made in this 'March Manifesto' would not be fulfilled. Conflict broke out between the Kurds and government's armed forces in the spring of 1974. The Kurds were supported by the Shah of Iran, who was concerned about what he saw as Soviet influence over the Iraqi regime. The Kurds in Iraq:  The Kurds in Iraq Jordanian intervention led to the signing of the Algiers Agreement between Iran and Iraq in March 1975. Iran closed its border with Iraq which led to the collapse of the Kurdish military force. Kurdish resistance was violently repressed, villages were destroyed and their inhabitants resettled in specially constructed villages surrounded by barbed wire and fortified posts. The Rise of Saddam Hussein :  The Rise of Saddam Hussein The economic strength of the regime in the late 1970s led to a concurrent rise in its political strength. The Ba'ath party itself lost influence and real power was increasingly concentrated in the hands of Saddam Hussein and his political backers. The party increasingly became an instrument of the state. In July 1978 a decree was passed which made any non-Ba'thist political activity illegal and membership of any other political party punishable by death for all members or former members of the armed forces. Saddam Hussein (1937- ) The Rise of Saddam Hussein:  The Rise of Saddam Hussein President Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr announced his resignation, and the handover of power to Saddam Hussein, on 16 July 1979. Huge oil revenues enabled Saddam to spend large sums on welfare and building projects, and living standards improved due to the expanding economy. Saddam Hussein concentrated on creating his own personality cult; portraits and statues of him were built all over the country. The Republican Guard - the elite presidential security force - was also formed in this period. The Iran/Iraq War :  The Iran/Iraq War Relations with Iran seriously deteriorated in the period following the Iranian Islamic revolution of 1979. Cross-border incidents resulted in Iraq invading Iran and in a full outbreak of war on 22 September 1980. Massive losses were experienced by both sides and in 1986 a stalemate was reached. Iraq was supported by its Arab neighbors, particularly Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and by the US, the Soviet Union and France. The Iran/Iraq War:  The Iran/Iraq War The UN Security Council passed Resolution 598, calling for an end to the war, on 20 July 1987. It was not accepted by Iran, who launched a further attack on northern Iraq in the spring of 1988. The Iraqi air force responded with poison gas, causing 5,000 civilian deaths in Kurdish northern Iraq. Iran finally agreed to a cease-fire in July 1988. The Iran/Iraq War:  The Iran/Iraq War The Iran/Iraq war resulted in an estimated 400,000 deaths (roughly 1/4 Iraqi and 3/4 Iranian), and around 750,000 people were injured. Despite large foreign debts and damaged infrastructure, the Iraqi regime was actually strengthened militarily by the war with Iran. Military production had increased significantly, and the army had also increased in size, to a total force of around one million. This consolidated Saddam Hussein's grip on power. The Gulf War :  The Gulf War By the late 1980s Iraq was experiencing an economic crisis, largely caused by misguided economic reforms. $5 billion a year had been allocated to military re-armament projects. Inflation and the cost of living were rising dramatically. Iraq's relations with its neighbors declined, particularly when Saddam laid claim to the Rumaila oilfield that ran from Iraq into northern Kuwait. The Gulf War:  The Gulf War On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. On August 8 Iraq announced its annexation of Kuwait. The UN Security Council quickly passed a series of resolutions condemning Iraq's actions. Murders and abuses of Kuwaitis by Iraqi troops were prevalent. Iraq was backed politically by the PLO, and also, rather hesitantly, by Jordan. Forces from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Britain, France, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the US began gathering in Saudi Arabia. Iraq did not receive military support from any state. The Gulf War:  The Gulf War The UN Security Council passed Resolution 678, authorizing military force to be used against Iraq, at the end of November 1990. On 17 January 1991, the allied forces began their aerial bombardment of Iraq. The Iraqi army surrendered in large numbers on February 23 and 24. The US declared a cease-fire on February 28 1991 and the Gulf War was over. Post-Gulf War:  Post-Gulf War Immediately after the Gulf War, the UN began carrying out its program of dismantling Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Weapons inspection teams were set up to make regular visits to Iraq to see that it was complying with the terms of the UN ceasefire resolutions. Lecture Based on a Special Report by the BBC News:  Lecture Based on a Special Report by the BBC News November 7, 1997

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