Iraq–Russia relations

Iraq–Russia relations

Iraq-Russia relations are bilateral foreign relations between Iraq and Russia.


Russian-Iraqi relations have been generally part and parcel of their relations with the Third World countries and their national liberation movements, particularly Arab nationalism, which for both historical and geostrategic reasons has been especially important for Moscow. However, at the same time, particularly between 1958 and 1990, Soviet-Iraqi relations were marked by some special features,cite web |url= |title=Russian-Iraqi Relations: A Historical and Political analysis |accessdate=2008-03-04 |] putting them in contrast with Soviet links with other Afro-Asian nations and even some states of the Arab Middle East.
* Iraq was first of all the nearest of all Arab countries to the Soviet borders and because of that proximity the threat of Soviet expansion could have been seen as being much more real by its leaders than by the leaders of the other Arab states.
* Different from the other Arab states of the Mashreq, Iraq, since its very beginning in the 1920s, contained a very substantial (close to 25%) ethnic non-Arab Kurdish minority with specific constitutional rights, which were granted in 1925 as a condition for the incorporation of the largely Kurdish populated Mosul region into its borders. The Kurdish people, other groups of which live in Turkey, Iran and Russia, have never completely submitted to their division and lack of national self-determination, and in Iraq since 1961 have constantly demanded territorial autonomy. Their aspirations towards which the Soviet Union could not remain indifferent, were, however, putting it in the awkward situation of having to make a choice between their recognition and its general support of Arab nationalism and the friendly Iraqi government.
* The Iraqi Communist Party, which was formally founded in 1934, was one of the most effective and socially influential Marxist organizations in the region. Although it was never strong enough to take power by itself, it nevertheless represented a by no means negligible political force in the country, being for Moscow after 1958, both a valuable asset and an embarrassment in its deals with the "progressive" but still often viciously anti-communist Iraqi government.
* Finally, Iraq's economic potential and relative wealth, especially after the 1973 October War and the subsequent rise of the oil prices, made this country a financially attractive partner and customer for Moscow. These economic aspects, which had never been absent in the past, have acquired additional importance since the collapse of the USSR and the emergence of Russia as a separate and pro-capitalist nation.

Post-Soviet Russia, rejecting Marxist ideology and the ideological support of the Communist parties and the national liberation movements of the Third World peoples, is nevertheless still interested in cooperation with Iraq, and since 1994 has been supporting Baghdad politically against the United States imposed punitive sanctions.

oviet-Iraqi relations

Russian (Soviet) relations with Iraq have a relatively long and complex history. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established for the first time on 9 September 1944 at the end of World War II. The monarchic regime in Baghdad was nevertheless staunchly anti-communist and established its links with Moscow only because of its dependence on Britain and the British-Soviet alliance during the war. In January 1955 relations were broken off after the Soviets criticized the Iraqi government's decision to join the Baghdad Pact.

When the pro-western monarchy was overthrown by a military coup on 14 July 1958, the new leader of the country, General Abd al-Karim Qasim immediately re-established diplomatic ties with Moscow and started to buy Soviet arms. Since then, for about forty years until the Gorbachev Perestroika in the late 1980s, Soviet-Iraqi cooperation was both close and multi-faceted, and for most of the period it was even officially called a "strategic partnership". However, this did not mean that during all that time their mutual relations had always been equally friendly and without serious political differences. As an American scholar indicated, because of their support of the national-liberation movements, a number of important Third World countries, including Iraq, "declared their friendship for and improved relations with the USSR and sided with it on a number of international problems". In no instance, however, did their leaders "compromise their own national interests or become Soviet stooges." Baghdad's interest in cooperation with Moscow "was based on the need for a powerful patron in its efforts to shed all the remnants of Western colonialism and to establish Iraq as an autonomous member of the world order of nation states." At the same time, however, the Iraqi "ruling elite had shown stubborn resistance towards anything which could be regarded as an intrusion into the country's internal affairs or as an infringement upon Iraq's sovereignty over its international policies."

Present day

Iraq has an embassy in Moscow and Russia has an embassy in Baghdad.

ee also

*Foreign relations of Iraq
*Foreign relations of Russia
*The Soviet Union and the Iran-Iraq War
*Soviet support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war

External links

* [ Russian-Iraqi Relations: A Historical and Political Analysis (Arab Studies Quarterly)]


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