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Pre-coup grievances::14 July Revolution

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Pre-coup grievances

Regional (Middle East) agitations

During World War II, Iraq housed a growing presence of Arab nationalist sympathizers. The Arab nationalists aimed, in part, to remove British imperial influence in Iraq.<ref name = "Hunt 2005 72">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> This sentiment grew from a politicized educational system in Iraq and an increasingly assertive and educated middle class.<ref name = "Eppel 1998 233">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> Schools served as instruments to internalize Pan-Arab nationalist identity because the leaders and the designers of the Iraqi educational system in the 1920s and 1930s were Pan-Arab nationalists who made a significant contribution in the expansion of that ideology in Iraq as well as the rest of the Arab world.<ref name = "Eppel 1998 233"/> The two nationalist directors of the educational system in Iraq, Sami Shawkat and Fadhil al-Jamal, employed teachers who were political refugees from Palestine and Syria.<ref name = "Eppel 1998 233"/> These exiles fled to Iraq because of their roles in the anti-British and anti-French contentions, and subsequently fostered nationalist consciousness in their Iraqi students.<ref name = "Eppel 1998 233"/> Institutions like school added to the general awareness of Arab identity and generated criticism of imperialism.

Similarly, Pan-Arab sentiment circulated in the Middle East and was proliferated by Egypt's Gamel Abdel Nasser, a rising politician and staunch opponent of imperialism. As such, Hashemite Iraq confronted and cradled those sentiments as well. At the same time, Nuri al-Said, Iraqi Prime Minister, was interested in pursuing the idea of a federation of Arab States of the Fertile Crescent, but reserved his enthusiasm about a 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.<ref name = "Tripp 2007 115">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> The charter of the League enshrined the principle of the autonomy for each Arab state and referenced pan-Arabism only rhetorically.

Economic climate

The Iraqi economy fell into a recession and then a depression following World War II; inflation was uncontrolled and the Iraqi standard of living was dropping.<ref name = "Hunt 2005 73">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> Al-Said and the Arab Nationalist regent, Abd al-Ilah, were continually in opposition to each other. Instead of cooperating to improve the quality of life among the Iraqi citizens, the regent and al-Said did not agree on a cohesive economic policy, infrastructure improvements, and other internal undertakings.<ref name = "Hunt 2005 73"/>

In 1950, Nuri al-Said persuaded Iraqi Petroleum Company to increase the royalties paid to the Iraqi government. Al-Said looked to Iraq's growing oil revenues to fund and propel development.<ref name = "Tripp 2007 124">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> Al-Said determined that 70 percent of Iraq's revenue from was to be set aside for infrastructure development by a Development Board, which consisted of three foreign advisors, out of six members in total. This foreign presence provoked popular disapproval on al-Said's policy because of its reliance on decision-making by foreigners.<ref name = "Tripp 2007 115">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> Despite anti-Western sentiments toward oil and development, al-Said's hired economist Lord Salter to investigate the prospects for development in Iraq because al-Said's oil revenue reallocation seemed to be ineffective.<ref name = "Tripp 2007 134">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> Salter continued to make suggestions<ref>Salter, A., and S. W. Payton. The development of Iraq; a plan of action by Lord Salter, assisted by S.W. Payton. 1955. London: Caxton, for the Iraq Development Board</ref> as to how to implement development projects regardless of massive Iraqi dislike of his presence.

Political grievances

During World War II, the British reoccupied Iraq and in 1947, through the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1948 (also known as the Portsmouth Treaty) on 15 January, Salih Jabr negotiated British withdrawal from Iraq. However, this agreement consisted of a joint British and Iraqi joint defense board that oversaw Iraqi military planning. Additionally, the British continued control of Iraqi foreign affairs.<ref name = "Eppel 2004 74">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> Iraq would still be tied to Great Britain for military supplies and training. This treaty was to last until 1973—a 25-year period that Arab nationalists in Iraq could not accept.<ref name = "Tripp 2007 117">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> As a staunch reaction to the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1948, Arab nationalists led the Wathbah Rebellion a year later in protest of a continued British presence in Iraq.<ref name = "Tripp 2007 134"/> Al-Said repudiated the Portsmouth Treaty as a concession offered to the Iraqi and Arab nationalists who rebelled.<ref name = "Tripp 2007 134"/>

In 1955, Iraq entered into the Baghdad Pact with Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey. The pact was a defense agreement between the four nations and endorsed by the UK and the United States as anti-communist Cold War strategy, but was greatly resented by Iraqis in general.<ref name = "Hunt 2005 75">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> Egypt saw the Baghdad Pact as a provocation and a challenge against its regional dominance. In 1956, when Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal, Iraqi-Egyptian relations were further exacerbated. The British, French, and Israelis invaded Egypt. Iraq, as a British ally, had to support the invasion.<ref name = "Hunt 2005 75"/> The fact that imperial ties dragged Iraq into supporting invasion of Arab lands led to wide disapproval within the Iraqi populace, which largely sympathized with Egypt and responded to pan-Arab ideology. They felt that the invasion of Egypt was another sign of Western aggression and dominance in the region.<ref name = "Hunt 2005 75"/>

Similarly, when Egypt and Syria united to form the United Arab Republic (UAR) under the banner of pan-Arabism in 1958, Iraqi politicians found themselves in a vulnerable position. Iraqi leaders had no interest in uniting with Egypt and instead proposed and ratified their own pan-Arab union with Hashemite Jordan in May 1958.<ref name = "Hunt 2005 75"/> Great Britain and the United States openly supported this union. Many Iraqis however were suspicious of the purpose of this union regarded the Arab Union of Iraq and Jordan as another "tool of their Western overlord".<ref name = "Hunt 2005 75"/>

Precursors

The primary goal of the coup was to liberate Iraq from its imperial ties with the British and the United States. The Western powers dominated all sectors of Iraqi governance: national politics and reform, regional politics with its Arab and non-Arab neighbors, and economic policies. As a general rule, many Iraqis were resentful of the presence of Western powers in the region, especially the British. Furthermore, Hashemite monarchic rule could not be divorced from the image of imperial masters behind the monarchy.

Discord mounts

A growing number of educated elites in Iraq were becoming enamored with the ideals espoused by Nasser's pan-Arabism movement. The ideas of qawmiyah found many willing adherents, particularly within the officer classes of the Iraqi military. The policies of Said were considered anathema by certain individuals within the Iraqi armed forces, and opposition groups began to form, modeled upon the Egyptian Free Officers Movement which had overthrown the Egyptian monarchy in 1952. Despite efforts by Said to quell growing unrest with the military ranks (such as economic benefits designed to benefit the officer class, and brokering deals with the U.S. to supply the Iraqi military)<ref name = "Hunt 2005 108">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> his position was significantly weakened by the events of the Suez Crisis. Said was to suffer for his association with Britain; the latter's role in the Crisis seeming a damning indictment of his wataniyah{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} policies<ref name = "Hunt 2005 109">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}; {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> Despite Said's efforts to distance himself from the crisis, the damage had been done to his position. Iraq was to become isolated within the Arab world; a fact highlighted by her exclusion from the "Treaty of Arab Solidarity" in January 1957.<ref name = "Barnett 1998 128">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> The Suez Crisis benefited the Nasser's pan-Arabism cause, whilst simultaneously undermining those Arab leaders who held a pro-Western policy. Said's fell firmly within the latter camp, and covert opposition to his governance steadily grew in the wake of Suez.

Building to a crisis

On 1 February 1958, Egypt and Syria were to boost the pan-Arabian movement immeasurably with the announcement that they had united as the United Arab Republic (UAR).<ref name = "Barnett 1998 129">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> The move was a catalyst for a series of events that culminated in revolution in Iraq. The formation of the UAR and Nasser's lofty rhetoric calling for a united Arab world was to galvanize the pan-Arabism movement within Iraq and Jordan. The governments in Iraq and Jordan attempted something of a riposte with the creation of the Arab Federation on 14 February<ref name = "Barnett 1998 131">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref>—a union of the two states—yet few were impressed by the knee-jerk reaction to the UAR.

The UAR was joined by North Yemen soon after its formation: attention was soon to shift to Lebanon where Syria was to sponsor the Arab nationalist movement in its civil war campaign against the pro-Western government of Camille Chamoun.<ref name = "Simons 2003 249_251">{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}}.</ref> Said recognised that defeat for Chamoun would leave Iraq and Jordan isolated. He bolstered Chamoun's government with aid throughout May and June.<ref name = "Simons 2003 249_251"/> More fatefully he attempted to bolster Jordan with units from the Iraqi army, a move that was a direct catalyst for the coup d'état.


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