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Abdul Rahman Arif

Abdul Rahman Arif

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Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

 Abdul Rahman Mohammed Arif Aljumaily
(Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 عبد الرحمن محمد عارف الجميلي) (1916 – August 24, 2007) was president of Iraq
President of Iraq
The President of Iraq is the head of state of Iraq and "safeguards the commitment to the Constitution and the preservation of Iraq's independence, sovereignty, unity, the security of its territories in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution." The President is elected by the Council of...

 from April 16, 1966 to July 17, 1968.

Biography


He was a career soldier, and supported the military coup
14 July Revolution
The 14 July Revolution was a coup which took place on 14 July 1958 in Iraq, marking the overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy established by King Faisal I in 1932 under the auspices of the British. In 1958, the coup overthrew King Faisal II, the regent and Crown Prince 'Abd al-Ilah, and Prime...

 in 1958 that overthrew the monarchy. He also supported the coup that brought his brother, Abdul Salam Arif
Abdul Salam Arif
Abdul Salam Mohammed Arif Aljumaily was President of Iraq from 1963 till his death. He played a leading role in the coup in which the Hashemite monarchy was overthrown on July 14, 1958.-1958 revolution and conflict with Qasim:...

, to power in 1963. His brother appointed him head of the army following the coup, and when the younger Arif died in a helicopter crash in April 1966, Prime Minister Abdul Rahman al-Bazzaz became acting president; three days later, al-Bazzaz was chosen to become president, then al-Bazzaz immediately relinquished the presidency to Abdul Rahman Arif. The transfer of power possibly occurred because the Iraqi military thought that Abdul Salam should be succeeded by his weak and easier to manipulate brother instead. Arif was appointed president by the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council
Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council
The Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council was established after the military coup in 1968, and was the ultimate decision making body in Iraq before the 2003 American-led invasion. It exercised both executive and legislative authority in the country, with the Chairman and Vice Chairman chosen by a...

. He continued his brother's policies, but with a more nationalistic profile.

Like his brother Abdul Salam, He was overt supporter of Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

's pan-Arabist president Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of...

. He sent Iraqi troops to fight in the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

 of June 1967 against Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 which ended in considerable Arab casualties. Nonetheless, the Iraqi military performed better than the troops of other Arab states. Arif Abdul Razzak, another pro-Nasser Air Force Commander, attempted a coup d'état on Arif, and lightly bombed the Presidential Palace with a couple of Soviet MiG 17 jets, but the coup failed and he was arrested. It was his second failed coup attempt on the Arif regimes. President Arif went on TV to declare that on this occasion, Abdul Razzak would definitely be punished, only to then release him with a pardon.

His presidency was widely believed to be slack and indecisive. However, there are historical clues that he was not corrupt. The ill advised law that he passed in 1967 to absolve himself from paying income tax is probably an indication that he was not capable of getting wealth otherwise. On July 17, 1968, while Arif was sleeping, his own assistants along with members of the Ba'ath Party, Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr, overthrew him in a bloodless coup. As Arif and his brother had done in the 1963 coup against Qasim, the coalition declared victory once they had captured the radio station and the ministry of defense. It was accomplished when the defense minister, Hardan Al-Tikriti
Hardan al-Tikriti
Hardan ’Abdul Ghaffar al-Tikriti was a senior Iraqi Air Force commander, Iraqi politician and ambassador who was assassinated on the orders of Saddam Hussein, the then vice chairman of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council....

, phoned Arif informing him that he was no longer president. Arif was exiled to Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

.

He returned to Iraq in 1979, when Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

 came to power, and largely stayed out of the public and political spotlight afterwards. He was allowed to leave the country once by Hussein's regime to undertake the Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

. Arif left Iraq permanently after Hussein was removed from power by the U.S.-led invasion, and lived in Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

, Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 from 2004. He died in Amman on August 24, 2007. He was married to Faika Abdul-Mageed Faris Alanee.

Quotes

  • "The existence of Israel is an error which we must put right. This is our opportunity to wipe out the disgrace which is Israel which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear- to wipe Israel off the map", speaking on the Radio, 1 June 1967
  • "I hope there will be stability and security in all parts of Iraq and neighboring Arab countries,” he said. “I hope there will be national unity in Iraq by forgetting the past and looking for the future."

External links