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Mustafa Barzani
Arabic: mustafā 'al-barzāniyy

Mustafa Barzani.
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Mustafa Barzani.

(1904- 79) Iraqi Kurdish leader.
Barzani was through his family opposed to the Arab-dominated regime of Baghdad even from his birth. He was however close to establishing agreements that allowed for freedom for Kurdish identity and culture.

1904 March 14: Born in Barzan in northern Iraq, as the heir in the leading family of the region.
1931- 32: Together with his older brother, Ahmad, he leads the Kurdish struggle for independence.
1935: With the suppression of the Kurdish fight, Mustafa is together with his brother exiled to Sulaymaniyah.
1942: Mustafa escaped from Sulaymaniyah, and starts a new revolt against Baghdad, but it is once again unsuccessful.
— Mustafa escapes together with 1,000 of his followers into Soviet-occupied Iran.
1945 December: Under Soviet auspices, the Kurdish Republic is founded in northwestern Iran. Mustafa becomes the commander of its army.
1946 May: The Kurdish Republic is crushed by Iran following the departure of Soviet troops.
1947: Mustafa moves to the Azerbaijan republic in the Soviet Union, where he enrolls at the university.
1958: Following the republican coup, Mustafa is invited to return to Iraq by President Qasim.
— Mustafa goes further than Qasim had intended, and suggests independence for the Kurdish regions in the north. This resulted in new clashes between the rulers of Baghdad and the Kurds.
1961: Qasim starts military actions against the Kurds.
1970 March: Baghdad and the Kurdish leaders reach an agreement, where Kurdish ethnicity and language are recognized and given a position on a par with the Arab.
Early 1970's: Mustafa's son Ubaydallah defects from the Barzani tribe, and starts working with the regime in Baghdad.
1974 March: Mustafa leads his followers into a fight with the Iraqi government, this time with the support of Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi of Iran.
1975: As the situation between Iran and Iraq was about to escalate into full-scale war, the shah of Iran cuts off all support to Mustafa and his troops.
— Mustafa has to escape, and finds exile in the USA.
1979 March 1: Dies from natural causes in Washington, USA.

By Tore Kjeilen