Iraqi Communist Party

   The Iraqi Communist Party was founded in 1935 and for many years was the most successful communist party in the Middle East. The absence of a Kurdish communist party for most of the time led what few Kurdish intellectuals there were to join or cooperate with the ICP, which generally took a favorable attitude toward the Kurdish movement. At times, a number of the party's senior members were Kurds.
   Aziz Muhammad, a Kurd, led the ICP from 1963 until the early 1990s. The ICP also maintained a Kurdish Section or Branch, which became a member of the Iraqi Kurdistan Front when it was created in the late 1980s. Moreover, in 1943, a small Kurdish Communist Party called Shoresh (Revolution) was established. It joined the ICP in 1946, however. The heyday of the ICP was from the 1940s until the 1960s. The ICP supported the peasants, took on the aghas, and also supported the oil workers of Irbil, Kirkuk, and Sulaymaniya. During the mid-1950s, the ICP cooperated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) that was led by Ibrahim Ahmed's followers. For a while the KDP even recognized this unity by calling itself the United KDP. Gradually, however, the ICP became marginalized both in Iraqi and Kurdish politics. The ICP still exists as a minor player and maintains a website at

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

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