1945-1958 1963-1968

Iraq 1958-1963

Administration . In 1958, the so-called Free Officers in a military coup overthrew the monarchy. The royal family was executed. General Abdul Karim Qassem assumed the presidency and held on to it until he in turn was assassinated in a 1963 coup. In 1959 PM Abdul Salam Arif was deposed, accused of treason and sentenced to death. A pro-Nasserite military revolt centered on Mosul was crushed. An atempt to assassinate President Qassem in October 1959 failed. (BBoY 1960 p.361).

Foreign Policy . The 1958 coup terminated Iraqi participation in the Central Treaty Organization (Baghdad Pact); the CTO headquarter was moved from Baghdad to Ankara. In 1958, Iraq and the USSR reestablished diplomatic relations. The new government pursued a course of treating the U.S. and the USSR on an equal basis. The last British forces left Iraq in 1959.
The recently created union with Jordan was dissolved; Iraq moved to closer ties with the U.A.R. (Egypt and Syria), but these relations deteriorated again in 1959 (BBoY 1960 p.361).
In 1960 relations with the U.A.R. normalized, diplomatic relations with Jordan were resumed (BBoY 1961 p.367).
In 1960 Iraq was among the founding members of OPEC, established at a conference held in Baghdad.
In 1961, Iraq hosted a conference of the Arab League.
In 1961, Kuwait was released into independence. Iraq refused to recognize Kuwait and claimed her territory; British troops, then troop contingents from various Arab countries, had to move in to prevent Iraq from taking over her neighbour. In 1962 Iraq severed diplomatic relations with the U.S., Iran, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia because these countries had recognized Kuwait (BBoY 1963 p.478). In 1963 the Qassem administration extended diplomatic recognition to Kuwait.

The Economy . In 1959 the policy of pegging the Iraqi Dinar to the Pound Sterling was abandoned.
In 1958, Iraq produced 35.8 million metric tons of crude petroleum, in 1963 56.6 million (IHS p.362).
In 1958, Iraq produced 0.757 million metric tons of wheat, in 1963 0.488 million (IHS p.199). In 1958 a land reform was implemented, limiting the amount of land a single person could own.

Social History . Jan Lahmeyer estimates the population of Iraq in 1958 as 6.48 million, in 1963 as 7.55 million.

Ethnic and Religious Minorities . In 1958 Kurdish leader Mustafa Barzani was invited to return from Soviet exile. His demand for an independent Kurdistan caused in the deteriation of relations with the Iraqi regime, and the rebellion flared up again, to escalate from 1961 onward.

Cultural History . Baghdad University was opened in 1962.
Iraqi athletes participated in the Summer Olympics of Rome 1960, where weightlifter A.W. Aziz won a bronze medal.

Wars of Iraq, 1800-1999, from ACED
Global Currency History : Iraq (B. Taylor)
Articles History of Iraq, Central Treaty Organization, Abdul Karim Qassem, Mustafa Barzani, Iraq at the 1960 Summer Olympics, Baghdad University, from Wikipedia
Iraq, from Library of Congress Country Studies
History of U.S.-Iraq Relations, by Mike and Bruce
History of Oil in Iraq, from Global Policy Forum
History of Iraq 1947-1963, by Garrett Johnson
DOCUMENTS World Statesmen : Iraq, by Ben Cahoon; Rulers : Iraq, by B. Schemmel
Historical Statistical data : Iraq, from Population Statistics (J. Lahmeyer)
REFERENCE IHS : International Historical Statistics : Africa, Asia & Oceania 1750-2000, edited by B.R. Mitchell, Basingstoke : Palgrave MacMillan 4th ed. 2003
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, Macropaedia, Vol.21, pp.972-996 Article Iraq. KMLA Lib. Call Sign R 032 B862h v.21
Charles Tripp, A History of Iraq, Cambridge : UP 2000 [G]
Courtney Hunt, The History of Iraq, Westport CT : Greenwood 2005, KMLA Lib. Call Sign 956.7 H939h
Article Iraq, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1958 p.369, 1959 pp.367-368, 1960 pp.360-361, 1961 pp.366-367, 1962 pp.360-361, 1963 pp.478-479 [G]
Article : Iraq, in : Americana Annual 1957 pp.402-404, 1961 pp.381-383, 1962 pp.385-388, 1963 pp.348-349 [G]
Article : Iraq, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1961 pp.168-169 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 16th 2007

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