Abd al-Muhsin al-Sa'doun
|Prime Minister of Iraq|
19 September 1929 – 13 November 1929
|Preceded by||Tawfiq al-Suwaidi|
|Succeeded by||Naji al-Suwaydi|
11 January 1928 – 28 April 1929
|Preceded by||Ja'far al-Askari|
|Succeeded by||Tawfiq al-Suwaidi|
26 June 1925 – 21 November 1926
|Preceded by||Yasin al-Hashimi|
|Succeeded by||Ja'far al-Askari|
20 November 1922 – 22 November 1923
|Preceded by||Abd Al-Rahman Al-Gillani|
|Succeeded by||Jafar al-Askari|
Abd al-Muhsin bin Fahad al-Sa'doun
Nasiriyah, Basra Vilayet
|Died||13 November 1929 (aged 49–50)|
|Political party||Progress Party|
|Alma mater||Ottoman Military Academy|
Second Lieutenant (1909)
Background and early career
Abd al-Muhsin al-Sa'doun hailed from a family descended from the Sa'douns, the most powerful tribe within the Muntafiq Confederation.: 188 In the mid-nineteenth century, the Ottoman Empire 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 split the chiefs in two between "Ottomanizers" and their opponents by offering some chiefs permanent ownership of once communal tribal lands, when, previously, they could only exact tribute from farmers. The tribal chiefs then grew very wealthy by converting the rest of the tribe into tenant farmers for their exploitation.: 74–75
When the United Kingdom took Iraq from the Ottomans following World War I, it pursued a policy whereby it lavished political and economic favours on tribal leaders in order to encourage them to exert their influence in ways conducive to British economic designs in the country. Al-Sa'doun 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, al-Sa'doun was distinguished by being a sayyid (a descent from the Prophet Muhammad), and by having broadened his horizons at the Military Academy in Istanbul. Al-Sa'doun 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.: 34 Afterward, he returned to Iraq and embarked on a career as an influential politician.
Time in Parliament
Al-Sa'dun was a shrewd politician with many tribal and British connections, as demonstrated by his control over the Parliamentary alliance known as the Progressives. This made him one of King Faisal's most bitter rivals, as he frequently acted as an instrument of British supremacy over the Iraqi interests Faisal was trying to pursue.: 190–191 In 1923, he suppressed a Shi'a movement calling for election boycotts.: 190 He was President of the Constituent Assembly in 1924.: 12 Then, in 1926, he assured the application of the unequal twenty-five-year "Financial and Military Agreement" between Iraq and Britain in spite of its unpopularity.: 190–191
During his third term as Prime Minister, al-Sa'doun also negotiated the Treaty of Ankara in which Iraq promised to pay Turkey 10% of its revenues from the Mosul oil fields in return for Turkish recognition of Iraqi control of the area. By December 1928, popular protest over British domination of Iraq had become more fervid, and al-Sa'doun began to support King Faisal's demands for more autonomy. He resigned in protest in January 1929.: 191–192
On 13 November 1929, during his fourth term in office, al-Sa'doun died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His actions were considered to be a consequence of the criticism he had received from the Iraqi population and, subsequently, the British and international community for his "disloyalty". He left behind a letter to his son stating, "I have suffered with forbearance all possible insults and contempt".: 102-103
- Batatu, Hanna (1978). The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691052417. OL 21622322M.
- Suwaydi, Tawfiq (1987). وجوه عراقية عبر التاريخ [Iraqi Faces from the Past] (in Arabic). Riyadh al-Rayyis Publishers. ISBN 9781869844431. OL 8649495M.
- Report by His Britannic Majesty's Government to the Council of the League of Nations on the Administration of Iraq (Report). Colonial Office. 1923–1924.
- Report by His Britannic Majesty's Government to the Council of the League of Nations on the Administration of Iraq (Report). Colonial Office. 1926.
- Report by His Britannic Majesty's Government to the Council of the League of Nations on the Administration of Iraq (Report). Colonial Office. 1929.
- Sinderson, Sir Harry Chapman (1973). Ten Thousand and One Nights: Memories of Iraq's Sherifian Dynasty. Hodder and Stoughton Press. ISBN 9780340176184. OL 10616469M.
- Limited, Elaph Publishing (11 February 2008). "شارع السعدون شجرة الحزن تمطر مواويل بكاء". Elaph - إيلاف (in Arabic). Retrieved 16 September 2023.