Allawi, Iyad (Iraq)
The British-trained neurologist and former Ba’ath party member Iyad Allawi returned to Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in April 2003. He was chosen by the Iraqi Governing Council to be the prime minister of the US-backed Iraq interim government from 1 July 2004—from the United States’ handover of sovereignty—until national elections, scheduled for early 2005.
Iyad Allawi was born in Baghdad in 1945 to a prominent Shia merchant family; his grandfather helped to negotiate Iraq’s independence from Britain, and his father was an MP. He studied medicine at the University of Baghdad in the mid to late 1960s, and it was there that he first met Saddam Hussein. At this time, Allawi joined the leftist, secular Ba’ath party whose members had dominated Iraq’s governing council since 1963, following a military coup that was led by Colonel Abd al-Salam Aref. Allawi moved to Beirut in 1971, and then travelled to Britain, where he continued to study medicine,...