Molla Mustafa Barzani in the USA 1975–1979

Hakan Özoğlu



The article presents the result of a research on the final years of Mulla Mustafa Barzani on the basis of US intelligence reports concluded in the late 1970s and declassified in 2006, as well as memoirs and articles by U.S. foreign officers. The author focuses on the documents prepared by the CIA in relation with the travel of Barzani to the U.S. for medical treatment. The selected material concerns issues such as: U.S. support for the last Kurdish uprising headed by Mustafa Barzani and its nature, Barzani’s request from the U.S. after the Algiers Accord of 1975, behind-the-curtain negotiations regarding Barzani’s travel to the U.S., and the restrictions imposed on him during his stay. The author also considers the possibilities connected with the phrase “requested asylum” used for Barzani’s application to travel to the U.S.: from misinformation on the part of CIA officer, actually seeking refuge, to a political move aimed at enlisting U.S. support for the Kurdish cause. The author encourages the readers to form their own opinions on the presented matter. However, one indisputable fact remains – the U.S. has always been very much interested in Kurdish nationalism and the Kurds were a significant subject in the Cold War years.

Full text:

Słowa kluczowe

Mulla Mustafa Barzani, Middle East, U.S. policy, intelligence, Kurdish uprising


Department of State, Central Files, POL 13–3 IR AQ.

Korn D.A., The Last Years of Mustafa Barzani, “Middle East Quarterly” 1994, June, as published on

National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–9 IR AQ.

National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 138, Kissinger Office Files, Kissinger Country Files, Middle East, Kurdish Problem Vol. I, June ‘72–October ‘73. Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only.

National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 601, Country Files, Middle East, Iran and Iraq, TDCS DC-315/01044-70. This document is an Intelligence Information cable with the subject line “Israeli Aid to Kurdish Rebels”.


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