Anglo-Iraqi Treaty (1930)

Anglo-Iraqi Treaty (1930)

The Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1930, between the United Kingdom and the British Mandate controlled administration of Iraq, was based upon an earlier Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1922 but took into account Iraq's increased importance to British interests given new oil finds made in 1927.

The United Kingdom occupied Iraq at this time under a mandate from the League of Nations. The 1930 treaty provided a path towards Iraq's nominal independence two years later at the termination of the mandate. The main purpose of the treaty was to give the British a variety of commercial and military rights within the country after independence in exchange for which Iraq would get nothing. Critics point out that the treaty was not negotiated, but rather dictated to the British-controlled government so as to avoid any possibility of real negotiations with a post-independence government.

The treaty gave the British almost unlimited rights to base military forces in Iraq. It further provided for the unconditional and unlimited right of the British to move troops into or through Iraq. In 1941, the terms of the treaty were used to justify a British invasion and occupation of Iraq after a nationalist coup whose leaders had contacts among the axis powers. The British used the terms of the treaty as a basis for an occupation that lasted until end of 1947. As they prepared to depart Iraq, an attempt was made to get the British installed government of Iraq to sign a new military treaty giving the British even more powers than under then 1930 treaty. While the treaty was approved, it never came into effect because of unrest and large demonstrations in Iraq against it.

Critics consider the treaty a document which was nothing more than a cover for the British to permanently limit the independence of Iraq and to give themselves a right to intervene in the internal affairs of Iraq as they pleased. The treaties always revolved around protecting the access to Iraqi oil resources by British companies by giving the British the right of military intervention in the country.

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