Iraq's New Image

Archive Report

Iraq's Emergence as Gulf Power

Changes in Foreign and Domestic Policy

Iraq's recent transformation from a “radical” to a “moderate” Arab state has brought this once-obscure country to world attention. Iraqis long have viewed their nation as the leader of the Arab world. Now, because of the country's increasing oil production, pragmatic diplomacy and large-scale military buildup, others agree that Iraq is the preeminent power in the Persian Gulf region and perhaps in the whole Arab world.

Many factors account for Iraq's new prominence, particularly the ouster of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the shah of Iran, in January 1979 and the subsequent chaos that befell that country under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.1 The growing isolation of Egypt in the Arab world after the signing of the ...

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