Massoud Barzani

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Massoud Barzani (1946-), born in the [Iran]]ian Kurdish town of Mahabad,[1] is president of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, and leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party. Barzani's KDP and Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, who have historically been rivals, have increasingly cooperated in governing a quasi-autonomous part of Iraq, which, while generally pro-American, also is dedicated to the cause of a Greater Kurdistan. This Kurdish movement would eventually include Kurds in Turkey and Iraq; Kurdish nationalism is an especially sensitive matter to Turkey. [2]

He has described the present Iraqi government, especially Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as showing a trend toward authoritarianism, and shutting Kurds out of the security apparatus. [3] Much of the tension deals with the status of the city of Kirkuk and its surrounding oilfields; it is a northern Iraqi city that is not clearly part of Kurdistan.

Iraq War

Barzani took part in resistance.

He became a member of the Iraqi Governing Council.


He has led the KDP since 1979, both as an underground party under Saddam Hussein and in the new Iraq. His father, the late Mustafa Barzani, founded the party, was exiled to the Soviet Union while he stayed in Iraq with his mother.


  1. "President", Kurdistan Regional Presidency
  2. Andrew McGregor (July 17, 2007), "Massoud Barzani Conducting Dangerous Games in Northern Iraq", Terrorism Focus, Jamestown Foundation
  3. Ned Parker (January 11, 2009), "Kurdish leader sees authoritarian drift in Iraq", Los Angeles Times