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Rashid Ali al-Gaylani[note 1] (Arabic: رشيد عالي الكيلاني‎, Arabic pronunciation: [raʃiːd ʕaːliː al.keːlaːniː]) (1892 – August 28, 1965) was an Iraqi politician who served as Prime Minister
Prime Minister
of the Kingdom of Iraq
Kingdom of Iraq
on three occasions: from March to November 1933, from March 1940 to February 1941 and from April to May 1941. He is chiefly remembered as an Arab nationalist who attempted to remove the British influence from Iraq. During his brief tenures as Prime Minister
Prime Minister
in 1940 and 1941, he attempted to negotiate settlements with the Axis powers
Axis powers
during World War II in order to counter British influence in Iraq.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Political career

2.1 1941 Iraqi coup d'état 2.2 Anglo-Iraqi War 2.3 Iran, Germany, and Saudi Arabia

3 Later life and death 4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 Bibliography

Early life[edit] He was the son of Sayyad Abdul Wahhab al-Gaylani and born into the prominent Baghdad-based Gaylani family. The Gaylani were known as sadeh, as they were from a family that traced its ancestry back to the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[1] Rashid Ali enrolled in law school in Baghdad
Baghdad
and was a lawyer until his political career.[2] Political career[edit] In 1924, Rashid Ali al-Gaylani
Rashid Ali al-Gaylani
began his career in politics in the first government led by Prime Minister
Prime Minister
Yasin al-Hashimi. Yasin al-Hashimi appointed Gaylani as the Minister of Justice. The two men were ardent nationalists and were opposed to any British involvement in the internal politics of Iraq. They rejected the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty signed by the government of Prime Minister
Prime Minister
Nuri as-Said
Nuri as-Said
in 1930. They formed the Party of National Brotherhood to promote nationalist aims. Gaylani served as Prime Minister
Prime Minister
for the first time in 1933 but held office for less than eight months. In 1938 the subject was seized and exiled to 'Ana for his suspected role in the Baghdad
Baghdad
bomb-throwing of November and the general political upheaval.[3] During the Hashimi government, the subject served as Minister of Interior with the additional benefit of the lucrative trusteeship of the Qadiri Awqaf. Later. as prme minister, he would retain the interior portfolio as public works projects progressed, including the laying of the foundations for a mosque to be named, the Faysal Mosque.[4] On 31 March 1940, when Gaylani was again appointed Prime Minister, World War II
World War II
had started and Iraq
Iraq
had just experienced the premature death of King Ghazi. Ghazi's reign was followed by a Regency for his four-year-old son who was now the new King Faisal II. Faisal's Regent was Ghazi's uncle, Emir
Emir
Abdul-Illah. Abdul-Illah supported Britain in the war, but he was unable to control Gaylani, who used the war to further his own nationalist goals by refusing to allow Allied troops passage through Iraq
Iraq
to the front. He also rejected calls for Iraq
Iraq
to break its ties with Fascist Italy and sent his Justice Minister, Naji Shawkat, to Ankara to meet with Germany's ambassador to Turkey, Franz von Papen, to win German support for his government. German Foreign Ministry archives record that Shawkat met von Papen on July 5, 1940, and he carried a letter of introduction from Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, expressing a desire for a treaty of friendship and collaboration.[5] Baghdad
Baghdad
was the early base for Nazi Middle East intelligence operations during World War II.[6] 1941 Iraqi coup d'état[edit] Main article: 1941 Iraqi coup d'état

Rashid Ali al-Gaylani
Rashid Ali al-Gaylani
and Haj Amin al-Husseini, speaking at the anniversary of the 1941 Iraqi coup in Berlin

Britain responded with severe economic sanctions against Iraq. Meanwhile, news of British victories against Italian forces in North Africa dulled support for Gaylani's government, and, on 31 January 1941, under pressure from Regent
Regent
Abdul-Illah, he resigned his post as Prime Minister. This only exacerbated his mistrust of Britain and its supporters in the government. Together with the members of the Golden Square, Gaylani made plans to assassinate Regent
Regent
Abdul-Illah and seize power. On 31 March, Abdul Illah discovered the plot to assassinate him and fled the country. On April 1, the coup d'état was launched and on April 3, Gaylani returned to power as Prime Minister
Prime Minister
and his "National Defence Government" replaced the government of the Regent. As one of his first acts, Gaylani sent an Iraqi artillery force to confront the RAF base situated in Habbaniya, RAF Habbaniya. By the end of April, the Iraqi armed forces were situated in strong positions on the escarpment above the base, and a siege began. Iraq
Iraq
had been a major supplier of petroleum to the Allied war effort and represented an important landbridge between British forces in Egypt
Egypt
and India. To secure Iraq, Prime Minister
Prime Minister
Winston Churchill ordered General Archibald Wavell
Archibald Wavell
to protect the air base at Habbaniya. On 18 April, British forces from India landed in Basra, Sabine Force. In the British Mandate of Palestine, another force was created to enter Iraq
Iraq
from the west and relieve RAF Habbaniya, Habbaniya Force. Anglo-Iraqi War[edit] Main article: Anglo-Iraqi War At Habbaniya, the besieging Iraqis demanded the cessation of all training activities and of all flights in and out of the base. On 2 May, the commander at RAF Habbaniya, Air Vice-Marshal
Air Vice-Marshal
Harry George Smart, responded to the Iraqi demands by launching a pre-emptive strike against the Iraqi forces overlooking the air base. This action initiated the Anglo-Iraqi War. Within a week, the Iraqis abandoned the escarpment. By mid-May, British forces from Habbaniya had moved on to Fallujah
Fallujah
and, after overcoming Iraqi resistance there, moved on to Baghdad. On 29 May, fearing a British onslaught, Gaylani fled to Iran. Before he left Baghdad, Gaylani contacted Mulla Effendi
Mulla Effendi
and informed him that he had chosen his house as a safe haven for the royal family to stay until the conflict ended. On 31 May, an armistice between the British and the Iraqis was signed. On 1 June, the Regent
Regent
returned to Baghdad
Baghdad
and his government was restored. Immediately afterwards, a violent pogrom against Jews took place in Baghdad
Baghdad
by the hands of former Gaylani supporters.[citation needed] Iran, Germany, and Saudi Arabia[edit]

Al-Gaylani with Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
in Cairo, August 1958

Gaylani was not to stay long in Iran. On 25 August 1941, British and Soviet forces invaded Iran
Iran
and removed Reza Shah
Reza Shah
from power. Gaylani then fled to German-occupied Europe. In Berlin, he was received by German dictator Adolf Hitler, and he was recognized as the leader of the Iraqi government in exile. Upon the defeat of Germany, Gaylani again fled and found refuge, this time in Saudi Arabia. Later life and death[edit] Gaylani did not return from exile until after the revolution that overthrew the Iraqi monarchy, in 1958. Once again, he attempted to seize power; he plotted a revolt against Abdul Karim Kassem's government. The revolt was foiled and Gaylani was sentenced to death. Later pardoned, he returned to exile in Beirut, Lebanon, where he died in 1965. See also[edit]

Fritz Grobba Nazi relations with the Arab world

Notes[edit]

^ in Arab standard pronunciation Rashid Aali al-Kaylani; also transliterated as Sayyad Rashid Aali al-Gillani, Sayyad Rashid Ali al-Gailani or sometimes Sayyad Rashid Ali el Keilany ("Sayyad" serves to address higher standing male persons)

References[edit]

^ Makiya, p. 216 ^ Cleveland, p. 212 ^ Longrigg, 1953, p. 274 ^ Longrigg, 1953, pp. 248, 283 ^ Aboul-Enein and Aboul-Enein, 2013, pp. 51-52 ^ Lewis, 2003, pp. 69-70

Bibliography[edit]

Aboul-Enein, Youssef; Aboul-Enein, Basil (2013). The Secret War for the Middle East: The Influence of Axis and Allied Intelligence operations During WW. Naval Institute Press.  Lewis, Bernard (2003). The crisis of Islam: holy war and unholy terror. Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 9781588360755.  Longrigg, Stephen Hemsley (1953). Iraq, 1900 To 1950: A Political, Social, and Economic History. Oxford University Press. 

Political offices

Preceded by Naji Shawkat Prime Minister
Prime Minister
of Iraq March 20, 1933 — October 29, 1933 Succeeded by Jamil al-Midfai

Preceded by Nuri as-Said Prime Minister
Prime Minister
of Iraq March 31, 1940 — January 31, 1941 Succeeded by Taha al-Hashimi

Preceded by Taha al-Hashimi Prime Minister
Prime Minister
of Iraq April 3, 1941 — May 29, 1941 Succeeded by Jamil al-Midfai

v t e

Prime Ministers of Iraq
Iraq
(List)

British Mandate of Mesopotamia
British Mandate of Mesopotamia
(1920–1932)

al Gillani as-Sa'dun† al-Askari† al-Hashimi† Tawfiq al-Suwaydi Naji al-Suwaydi as-Said†

Kingdom of Iraq
Kingdom of Iraq
(1932–1958)

Shawkat al-Gaylani al-Midfai† al-Aiyubi† al-Hashimi† Sulayman as-Said† H. Pachachi Tawfiq al-Suwaydi Arshad al-Umari Jabr as-Sadr Muzahim al-Pachachi Mustafa al-Umari Mahmud† al-Jamali Arshad al-Umari Mirjan Baban

Republic of Iraq
Iraq
(1958–2003)

Qasim† al-Bakr† Yahya† ar-Razzaq† al-Bazzaz† Talib Arif† Yahya† an-Naif† al-Bakr Hussein Hammadi Zubeidi as-Samarrai Hussein

Iraqi Governing Council
Iraqi Governing Council
(2003–2004)

al-Ulloum* al-Jaafari Chalabi Allawi Talabani al-Hakim A. Pachachi Hamid al-Ulloum Barzani Salim al-Yawer

Republic of Iraq
Iraq
(since 2004)

Allawi* al-Jaafari al-Maliki al-Abadi

* interim † military

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 37715944 LCCN: n83127377 ISNI: 0000 0000 6676 6587 GND: 118958496 SUDOC: 033214271 BNF:

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