History, Republic Proclaimed
Baghdad Pact, British protectorate, King Faisal, UAR, crown prince
The UAR, bitterly antagonistic to the pro-Western Arab Union, issued repeated radio calls urging the people, police, and army of Iraq to overthrow their government. On July 14, 1958, in a sudden coup d’etat led by the Iraqi general Abdul Karim Kassem, the country was proclaimed a republic. King Faisal II, the crown prince, and Said were among those killed in the uprising. On July 15 the new government announced the establishment of close relations with the UAR and the dissolution of the Arab Union. However, Kassem made attempts to gain the confidence of the West by maintaining the flow of oil.
In March 1959 Iraq withdrew from the Baghdad Pact, which was then renamed the Central Treaty Organization; in June 1959 Iraq withdrew from the sterling bloc (a group of countries whose currencies are tied to the British pound sterling).
Following the termination of the British protectorate over the emirate of Kuwait in June 1960, Iraq claimed the area, asserting that Kuwait had been part of the Iraqi state at the time of its formation. British forces entered Kuwait in July at the invitation of the Kuwaiti ruler, and the UN Security Council declined an Iraqi request to order their withdrawal.
Meanwhile, on the domestic front, the Iraqi government claimed in 1961 and 1962 that it had suppressed Kurdish revolts in northern Iraq. The Kurdish unrest persisted, however. The long conflict was temporarily settled in early 1970, when the government agreed to form a Kurdish autonomous region, and Kurdish ministers were added to the cabinet.
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