Bookmark and Share

Open the online Arabic language course

Tariq Aziz
Arabic: tāriq ¢azīz

Tariq Aziz.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Tariq Aziz.

Tariq Aziz.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

(1936- ) Iraqi politician, and foreign minister of Iraq (2001-2003).
Aziz proved to be talented in keeping cordial contacts with foreign powers in the 1980's, especially with the Soviet Union, France and the USA. But with the strong negative reactions from Western powers following Iraq's attack on Kuwait in 1990, he lost the propaganda war in Western medias against Kuwait and USA. But 10 years after his 2 months of heading the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he could return to that position in 2001, where he was until the fall of Saddam's regime in April 2003.
Aziz is a Chaldean Catholic, a fact that often has been used against him both by Iraqi Muslims and leaders of neighbour Muslim countries like Iran. But as he has remained loyal to Saddam Hussein, Hussein has been loyal to him. He is married, and has 2 daughters and 2 sons.

1936: Born in Mosul, and named Mikhail Yuhanna.
1950: Joins the Ba'th Party as one of its early members.
1958: Gets his BA in English language from College of Arts at the University of Baghdad.
— He starts working as a journalist in Jumhuria newspaper.
1963: Following the Ba'th coup, he becomes editor of al-Jamahir newspaper, the mouthpiece of the party.
1964: Works in the press office of Arab Ba’th Socialist Party in Syria from 1964.
1966: Moves back to Iraq.
1969: Becomes Editor in Chief of the new ath Tawra newspaper, established by the Ba'th party.
1972: Is appointed as a member to the Revolutionary Command Council.
1974: Becomes Deputy Chairman of the Bureau of Culture and Information of Ba'th party, a position he would hold until 1983.
— Is elected as candidate-member of the Iraqi Command of Ba'th party.
November 11: Is appointed as Minister of Information.
1977 January 10: Is elected as member of the Iraqi Command of Ba'th party, a position involving more power than a cabinet post.
September 4 Is appointed as member of the Revolution Command Council.
October 8: Is elected as member of Ba'th party National Leadership.
October 15: Is discharged as Minister of Information to assume the functions of Ba'th party leadership.
1979 July 16: Is appointed as Deputy Prime Minister.
1980 April: Is the target of an assassination attempt by Islamistic militants, but escapes it without injuries.
1983 January 14: Becomes Foreign Minister of Iraq, getting the difficult position of defending Iraq's attack on Kuwait in August the previous year.
March 23 Is discharged as Minister of Foreign Affairs and starts working full time as Deputy Prime Minister. From this position he was Iraq's top negotiator in the dealings with the UN after Iraq's surrender to the allied forces attacking Iraq.
2001 April 18: Is appointed as foreign minister for the second time.
2003 April: With the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime following the US-led invasion starting the previous month, Aziz is deposed of all his positions.
2008 April 29: Trial against Tariq is begun; he is charged for the death of 40 merchants in 1992.

By Tore Kjeilen