The Acts of the Democracies




Iraq (Abdul Karim Kassem)

General Abdul Karim Kassem overthrows the Western backed monarchy in Iraq and establishes a republic that is neutral in the Cold War.

The USA makes plans to invade Iraq with Turkey. The USA CIA director, Allen Dulles, states that the situation in Iraq is "the most dangerous in the world today".

The UK have oil interests in the nearby semi-dependency of Kuwait and fear an independently minded Iraq. The UK Foreign Secretary, Selwyn Lloyd, sends a secret telegram (number 1979, dated 19 July 1958) to the UK Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, saying "The advantage of [immediate British occupation] would be that we could get our hands firmly on Kuwait oil [however] the effect upon international opinion and the rest of the Arab world would not be good." He goes on to say that it would be better to set up "a kind of Kuwaiti Switzerland where the British do not exercise physical control" but must be prepared to "take firm action to maintain our position in Kuwait" as well as the other Gulf states (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar) and that the USA agrees with the UK "that at all costs these oil fields must be kept in Western hands".

Six months earlier, when considering partial independence for Kuwait, Lloyd had stated that "The major British and indeed Western interests in the Persian Gulf were:

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