Past Relationships
Britain has realized the strategic importance of Iraq since the beginning of the 17th century, the history of relations between Iraq and Britain goes back to 1640, and the presence of the East India Company in Basra. In 1808, Britain appointed a consul in Baghdad.
After the start of the First World War in 1914 and the entry of the Ottoman Empire under the support of Germany, and following the secret Sykes-Picot agreement (between France and Britain) in 1916, the British troops were deployed in Iraq. The British troops conquered Basra and continued towards Baghdad, taking control of it in 1917. In fact, the Iraqi government was established by Great Britain in 1920.
The British ruled Iraq from 1917 to 1958. Britain’s position in Iraq was ambiguous, although the Baghdad Declaration was proposed in March 1917, the right to self-determination was not achieved.
London’s role in the Kingdom of Iraq was prominent in 1921 and continued through the treaties of 1926, 1927, and 1930. On October 3, 1932, the Kingdom of Iraq gained independence and was accepted by the international community as an independent country. But it remained under British influence until the revolution of 1958.
In May 1941, there was a revolution against the British presence led by Rashid Ali Al Gilani, who succeeded in expelling the British allies. Britain declared war to regain control of Iraq and was able to regain power. Therefore, the kingdom returned to Baghdad with more British influence and following the union of Britain and Iraq, Rashid Ali, and his pan-Arab supporters left the country.
Despite the presence of Iraq as the founding member of the United Nations in 1945  and the signing of the 20-year treaty in 1948 (a new alliance between Iraq and Britain based on equality and full independence), it remained under British influence until the revolution of 1958.
By changing Iraq’s regime from a monarchy to a republic, the relationship between the two countries changed. After the Second World War, the relations between Iraq and Britain became difficult and sensitive. The relations sometimes reached a point of conflict due to London’s positions on Iraqi national issues and Arab issues.

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