Abdul-Muhsin Al-Saadoun

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Abd al-Muhsin Al-Saadoon
Abdel Muhsin Al-Sa'dun.jpg
2nd Prime Minister of Iraq
In office
20 November 1922 – 22 November 1923
Monarch Faisal I
Preceded by Abd Al-Rahman Al-Gillani
Succeeded by Jafar al-Askari
In office
26 June 1925 – 21 November 1926
Monarch Faisal I
Preceded by Yasin al-Hashimi
Succeeded by Jafar al-Askari
In office
11 January 1928 – 28 April 1929
Monarch Faisal I
Preceded by Jafar al-Askari
Succeeded by Tawfiq al-Suwaidi
In office
19 September 1929 – 13 November 1929
Monarch Faisal I
Preceded by Tawfiq al-Suwaidi
Succeeded by Naji al-Suwaydi
Personal details
Born Abd Al-Muhsin bin Fahad Al-Sa'dun
1879
Nasiriyah, Basra Vilayet
Died 13 November 1929
Baghdad, Iraq
Political party Progress Party
Children Wasif
Ali Aida Necla
Alma mater Ottoman Military Academy
Religion Sunni Islam
Military service
Allegiance  Ottoman Empire
Service/branch Ottoman Army
Years of service Unknown-1909
Rank Binbashi (1905-1909)
Second Lieutenant (1909)
Unit Infantry

ʻAbd al-Muḥsin Saʻdūn or Abd al-Muhsin Al-Saadoon, Honorary KCMG (Arabic: عبد المحسن السعدون‎‎) (1879 – November 13, 1929) was an Iraqi politician who served as Prime Minister of Iraq on four separate occasions between 1922 and 1929.

Origins Prior to the Monarchy[edit]

Abd al-Muhsin as-Sa'dun hailed from a family descended from the most powerful tribe within the Muntafiq Confederation (the Sa'duns). In the mid-nineteenth century the Ottoman fostered rivalries between the dominant Sa'dun chiefs by offering enticing land deals to the highest bidders among them, pursuant to a policy of tribal weakening and division. In 1871 Midhat Pasha finally rent the family in two between "Ottomanizers" and their opponents by offering some chiefs permanent ownership of once communal tribal lands (previously they could only exact tribute from cultivators therein). The chiefs then grew very wealthy by converting the rest of the tribe into mere tenants for their exploitation.[1]

Great Britain took Iraq from the Ottomans following World War I, and pursued a policy whereby they lavished political and economic favors on tribal leaders in order to encourage them to exert their influence in ways conducive to British economic designs in the country. as-Sa'dun was one of many to consistently obtain seats in Parliament in exchange for this service. Notably, however, while many tribal leaders at the time were provincial in outlook, as-Sa'dun was distinguished both on account of being a sayyid (one claiming descent from the Prophet Muhammad), and, more importantly, having broadened his horizons at the Military Academy in Istanbul. As-Sa'dun served as a military officer during Ottoman control of the country, as an aide-de-camp to Sultan Abd-ul-Hamid II, and as a ten-year member of the Ottoman Parliament.[2] Afterward he returned to Iraq and embarked on a career in politics as a formidable politician.

Time in Parliament[edit]

as-Sa'dun was a shrewd politician with many tribal and British connections (as evinced by his control of the Parliament alliance the Progressives). This made him one of Faisal I of Iraq's bitterest rivals, as he frequently acted as an instrument of British supremacy over the Iraqi interests Faisal was trying to pursue. As premier in 1923 he cracked down on a movement calling for a boycott of elections for the Constituent Assembly. Then in 1926 he assured the smooth passage of the Second Ango-Iraqi Treaty despite its inclusion of an unequal twenty-five year Financial and Military Agreement between Iraq and Britain.[3]

During this, his third term in office, As-Sa'dun also negotiated the Turkey-Iraqi Treaty in which Iraq promised to pay Turkey 10 percent of its revenues from the Mosul oil fields in return for Turkish recognition of Iraqi control of the area.[citation needed] In this way he contributed immensely to Iraq's diplomatic efforts. Nonetheless, by December 1928 popular protest over British domination of Iraq had become so fervid (or, perhaps, as-Sa'dun himself had taken such issue with Britain's refusal to grant Iraq control of its armed forces) that he began to support Faisal I in demanding more autonomy. He resigned in protest on January 1929.[4]

Death[edit]

During his fourth term in office, Al-Sa'dun died. He died of a self-inflicted wound from a gunshot on November 13, 1929—a consequence of the opprobrium he had elicited from both the Iraqi population and, subsequently, the British and international community for his "disloyalty." He left behind a suicide note to his son stating "I have suffered with forbearance all possible insults and contempt."[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hanna Batatu. The Old Social Classes and the Old Revolutionary Movements of Iraq. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978: pp. 74-75.
  2. ^ Tawfiq as-Suwaidi, "Wujuh 'Abra-t-Tarikh," p. 34
  3. ^ Hanna Batatu. The Old Social Classes and the Old Revolutionary Movements of Iraq. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978: pp. 190-191
  4. ^ Hanna Batatu. The Old Social Classes and the Old Revolutionary Movements of Iraq. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978: pp. 192
  5. ^ Dr. Sinderson Pasha, Harry. Ten Thousand and One Nights. London: Hodder and Stoughton Press, 1973, P. 102-103.
Political offices
Preceded by
Abd Al-Rahman Al-Gillani
Prime Minister of Iraq
November 18, 1922—November 21, 1923
Succeeded by
Jafar al-Askari
Preceded by
Yasin al-Hashimi
Prime Minister of Iraq
June 19, 1925—November 1, 1926
Succeeded by
Jafar al-Askari
Preceded by
Jafar al-Askari
Prime Minister of Iraq
January 14, 1928—January 20, 1929
Succeeded by
Tawfiq al-Suwaidi
Preceded by
Tawfiq al-Suwaidi
Prime Minister of Iraq
September 19, 1929—November 13, 1929
Succeeded by
Naji al-Suwaidi