Kurdistan Regional Government
THU, 18 JAN 2018 09:00 Erbil, GMT +3

President Masoud Barzani




Masoud Barzani was elected President of the Kurdistan Region in Iraq by the Kurdistan National Assembly in June 2005. 

Masoud Barzani was born on the day that the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) was founded, 16 August 1946. In his words, "I was born in the shadow of the Kurdistan flag in Mahabad (Iran) and I am ready to serve and die for that same flag." 
 
At the time of his birth, President Barzani’s father, the late Mustafa Barzani, was head of the military of the short-lived Kurdish Republic of Mahabad that was declared in Kurdistan in Iran. When the Republic fell, Mustafa Barzani fled to the USSR with five hundred devoted followers. When he returned to Iraq 12 years later, he, the rest of his family and thousands of members of the Barzani clan were promptly deported to the southern parts of the country. 
 
An avid pupil, Masoud Barzani began his primary education at an early age and developed a love of books and learning. With the overthrow of the Iraqi monarchy in 1958, the new Republic of General Abdulkarim Qasim welcomed Mustafa Barzani and his followers back to Iraq. Masoud Barzani was 12 years old when he was finally reunited with his father. 
 
The family moved back to their home village of Barzan, where they found their homes in ruins. Soon afterwards the Iraqi government resumed its repression against the people of Kurdistan. With no alternative, in 1961 the KDP, under the leadership of Mustafa Barzani, launched an armed struggle to defend the rights of the people of the Region. 
 
At the age of 16, Masoud Barzani sacrificed his education and joined the Peshmerga forces. The young Barzani was deeply influenced by the valour, leadership skills and compassion of his father. President Barzani’s experiences in the mountains of Kurdistan were to provide him with the skills that were to later propel him to the leadership of Kurdistan's movement. 
 
It was not long before the KDP leadership noticed the younger Barzani’s qualities, and he, together with his late, elder brother Idris, took part in the delegation that signed an autonomy agreement with Baghdad in March 1970. When the Iraqi government once again reneged on its pledges, the Kurdistan armed struggle resumed. Once again, Masoud Barzani took part at the side of his father. 
 
After the death of Mustafa Barzani in March 1979, Masoud was elected as the new president of the KDP at the party’s 9th congress. Since then he has been re-elected as the KDP’s President in each successive congress. 
 
Although Masoud Barzani did not have the opportunity to complete his education, his interest in reading and studying political and military affairs has helped him to keep abreast of international developments. His love of reading and football is well known. 
 
He is married with eight children. He speaks Kurdish, Arabic and Persian and has an understanding of English. 
 
His book entitled Mustafa Barzani and the Kurdish Liberation Movement was published in Arabic in three volumes. The first volume is available in English and Turkish.


Latest Articles

Barzani and Tillerson discuss latest developments

TUE, 16 JAN 2018 23:07

Prime Minister Barzani stressed his government’s stance of favouring dialogue and negotiations to resolve all outstanding issues with Baghdad. He described the talks of the past days between the Kurdistan Region and the federal government as positive.

Deloitte report on oil and gas in the Kurdistan Region

TUE, 16 JAN 2018 21:23

As the Kurdistan Regional Government has promised, and to prove its commitment to transparency in the entire oil and gas sector of the Kurdistan Region, today the first report by the international auditing company, Deloitte, is released. The report, which includes verified numbers of export and sales of oil in the Kurdistan Region for the first six months of 2017, is available to the public.

Prime Minister Barzani meets with British Ambassador to Iraq

TUE, 16 JAN 2018 13:40

Kurdistan Regional Government and Government of Iraq meet in Erbil

MON, 15 JAN 2018 20:35

Kurdistan Regional Governments condemns terrorist attacks in Baghdad

MON, 15 JAN 2018 18:26

His Holiness Pope Francis receives Prime Minister Barzani

FRI, 12 JAN 2018 23:38

KRG responds to Iranian accusations

SAT, 6 JAN 2018 22:30

Prime Minister Barzani receives letter from UN Secretary-General

FRI, 5 JAN 2018 22:46

Prime Minister Barzani and US Ambassador stress the need for dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad

FRI, 5 JAN 2018 14:17

Prime Minister Barzani and Turkish new Consul General discuss bilateral relations

FRI, 5 JAN 2018 12:28