1958-1963 1968-1979

Iraq 1963-1968

Administration . Following the assassination of President Abdul Karim Qassem in 1963, coupists took power; Colonel Abdul Salam Arif assumed the presidency, Gen. Ahmed Hasan al Bakr the post of PM, leading a Ba'ath cabinet.
By the end of 1963, President Arif ousted the Ba'ath cabinet. He died in an accident in 1966 and was succeeded by his brother, Gen. Abdul Rahman Arif, who in turn was ousted in 1968.

Foreign Policy . In 1963 Iraq had extended diplomatic recognition to Kuwait.
Lacking a major seaport on the Gulf, Iraq was concerned about her trade with the rest of the world. Trade routes through the Gulf were potentially threatened by Iran which controlled the Straits of Hormuz and claimed half of the Shatt al Arab. For her oil exports, Iraq depended on a pipeline connecting the oil fields of Kirkuk with the Mediterranean port of Banyas in Syria.
In 1963, the Baath party had assumed power in both Syria and Iraq. While the Syrian Baath was opposed to Nasser's U.A.R. (Egypt), the Iraqi Baath party was split in pro-Nasserites and opponents of the Egyptian president. Relations between Syria and Iraq quickly deteriorated over the issue, both governments trading insults, while Iraq even contemplated joining the U.A.R. Another difference in the foreign policies of Syria and Iraq was the attitude toward the monarchies on the peninsula, which Iraq wanted to see overthrown, while Syria recognized Saudi Arabia to be a valuable partner. Saudi Arabia and the U.A.R. again supported opposing sides in the North Yemen Civil War (1962-1970).
The U.S. backed the Arif coups and presidencies, seeing Iraq as a key element in the chain intended to contain the USSR. The USSR, on the other hand, was suspected of supporting the Kurdish rebellion (since 1965) as well as preparing for a Communist revolution in Iraq.
During the Six Day War (1967), Iraqi forces joined those of Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia in the struggle against Israel. The problem posed by Israel was of high priority to the Iraqi government; following the war, Iraq strengthened her ties to nations which had taken a distant approach to Israel, such as the USSR and France, while loosening ties to nations which had supported Israel, such as the U.S. and U.K.
Israel supported the Kurdish Peshmerga.

The Economy . First Five Year Development Plan 1965-1970.
In 1963, Iraq produced 56.6 million metric tons of crude petroleum, in 1968 74.4 million (IHS p.362).
In 1963, Iraq produced 0.488 million metric tons of wheat, in 1968 1.5 million (IHS p.199).

Social History . Jan Lahmeyer estimates the population of Iraq in 1963 as 7.55 million, in 1968 as 8.86 million.

Ethnic and Religious Minorities . From 1965 to 1970 the Kurds in the north of Iraq were in rebellion. In 1967-1968 there was a Communist rebellion in the south. Iraq spent the bulk of her budget on the military.

Cultural History . Iraqi athletes participated in the Summer Olympics of Tokyo 1964 and Mexico City 1968.
From 1965 to 1978, Ayatollah Khomeini stayed in exile in Najaf (Iraq).

Wars of Iraq, 1800-1999, from ACED
Global Currency History : Iraq (B. Taylor)
Articles History of Iraq, Baath Party, Six Day War, Abdul Karim Qassem, Abdul Salam Arif, Abdul Rahman Arif, Ahmed Hassan al Bakr, Mustafa Barzani, Iraq at the 1964 Summer Olympics, Iraq at the 1968 Summer Olympics, 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
Background on Women's Status in Iraq Prior to the Fall of the Saddam Hussein Government, from Human Rights Watch (2003)
The Military Coup of 1968, from Iraq's History Page (Ali al Sammawy)
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
Samir al-Khalil, Republic of Fear. The Inside Story of Saddam's Iraq, NY : Pantheon 1989 [G]
Article Iraq, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1963 pp.478-479, 1964 pp.466-467, 1965 pp.464-465, 1966 pp.427-428, 1967 pp.449-450, 1968 pp.447-448 [G]
Article : Iraq, in : Americana Annual 1963 pp.348-349, 1964 pp.345-347, 1965 pp.361-362, 1967 pp.370-371, 1968 pp.364-365 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 17th 2007

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