182. Telegram From the Embassy in Iraq to the Department of State1

12. State 396.2

Rather than delivering congratulatory message from USG on thwarting of coup, propose use suitable occasions to express orally to Iraqi leaders USG (a) regret that Iraq has had to suffer another outbreak of violence, (b) hope that GOI efforts maintain stability and proceed with development will be successful, (c) congratulations on GOI political program for Kurds and on gaining Kurdish acceptance, and (d) hope that settlement will be implemented promptly, consistently and in good faith by both GOI and Kurds. Believe foregoing will be appreciated and avoid possibility of embarrassment.3
Timing of coup attempt could possibly in part have related to Bazzaz June 29 announcement of Kurdish settlement. Coup leaders perhaps hoped other elements such as military officers originating Mosul, many of whom anti-Kurd, would join movement to overthrow regime which “betrayed Iraq by capitulating to Kurds.” Participation of Moslawi commander of fourth division Attarbashi perhaps secured this basis (but GOI apparently already aware his unreliability since Brigadier Adnan Abd al-Jalil several days ago said to have been named to replace him). On other hand coup leaders’ first radio announcement accepted Kurdish settlement. Fact settlement being reached and general outline of terms widely known more than week before coup attempt. These points lead to belief that other factors more important in selection of time. For example, Bazzaz due leave for Turkey July 1. Also, afternoon June 30 was eve of two-day holiday, government establishments close 1:30 p.m. and by 3:10 p.m. when ruckus started siesta is general rule, and large numbers of officers and troops normally given weekend and holiday leave.
From speed and smoothness of reaction by loyal forces seems evident GOI aware of coup plans and preferred catch leaders redhanded [Page 363] rather than try to round them up ahead of time and have them on GOI hands without proven case. This quite in keeping with way Iraqis look at things, particularly when they confident of winning.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 23-9 IRAQ. Secret. Repeated to Cairo.
  2. Telegram 396 to Baghdad, July 1, noted that the Department was considering whether it might be useful for the Embassy to convey U.S. congratulations quietly to President Aref or Prime Minister Bazzaz on successful thwarting of the recent coup attempt. It also asked for the Embassy’s analysis of the degree to which that attempt had been triggered by announcement of the Kurdish settlement. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 1207 to Baghdad, July 3, stated that the Department concurred in the Ambassador’s proposed course of action. (Ibid.)