Mohammad Bahr al-Ulloum

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Mohammad Bahralolom
محمد بحر العلوم
President of the Governing Council of Iraq
In office
1 March 2004 – 31 March 2004
LeaderPaul Bremer
Preceded byMohsen Abdel Hamid
Succeeded byMassoud Barzani
In office
13 July 2003 – 31 July 2003
LeaderPaul Bremer
Preceded bySaddam Hussein (Prime Minister)
Succeeded byIbrahim al-Jaafari
Personal details
Born(1927-12-17)17 December 1927
Najaf, Iraq
Died7 April 2015(2015-04-07) (aged 87)
Najaf, Iraq
Political partyNational Iraqi Alliance
Alma materNajaf University
Cairo University

Ayatollah Mohammad Bahr al-Ulloum (Arabic: محمد بحر العلوم‎‎; 17 December 1927 – 7 April 2015) was a Twelver Shi'a Islamic leader and politician in Iraq, who served as the President of the Governing Council of Iraq (43rd Prime Minister of Iraq).[1][2] He died of natural causes in 2015.[3]

Al-Ulloum was a longtime opponent of the rule of Saddam Hussein. By 1992 he had moved to London where he opposed Saddam's rule for many years. He was an active member of London's Shi'a community and was the head of AhlulBayt Centre in South London. In November 1992, at the Salahuddin gathering, within the safety of the southern air exclusion zone, along with Masoud Barzani and Colonel Hassan al-Naqib, he was one of the three men to be appointed to the presidential council by the Iraqi National Congress.[4] Mohammad al-Ulloum continued to live in London prior to the 2003 Iraq invasion.

After the United States deposed Saddam Hussein in 2003, as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, al-Ulloum was appointed to the Iraq interim governing council. He agreed to participate in the interim government and was appointed to the nine-member rotating presidency. He was the first president of the council, in an interim capacity, serving in that position from July 13, 2003 until August 1, 2003.

In August 2003, Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, a friend of al-Ulloum, was killed in a car bombing. Shortly after, al-Ulloum announced his voluntary suspension from the council, citing the failure of the council's ability to maintain law and order in post-war Iraq.[5] He later returned to the council, and became president again on March 1, 2004, serving until April 1, 2004.

He is the father of Ibrahim Mohammad Bahr al-Ulloum, Oil Minister of Iraq from September 2003 to June 2004, and again during 2005.


  1. ^ "Who's Who in Post-Saddam Iraq". BBC News.
  2. ^ "Chinese President meets with Bahr Al-Aloom". Bahrain News Agency. 26 March 2004. Archived from the original on 24 June 2007. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  3. ^ "Bio".
  4. ^ Andrew Finkel and Hazhir Teimourian. Turkey claims victory after forces pursue Kurds deep into Iraq, The Times, 2 November 1992
  5. ^ Revolutionary and dissident movements of the world (4th ed.). London: Harper. 2004. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-9543811-2-7. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
Political offices
Preceded by
Saddam Hussein
as Prime Minister of Iraq
President of the Governing Council of Iraq

Succeeded by
Ibrahim al-Jaafari
Preceded by
Mohsen Abdel Hamid
President of the Governing Council of Iraq
Succeeded by
Masoud Barzani