Menu

Fast Facts: A Look at Key Iraqi Leaders

A look at key members of Iraq's interim government, which accepted power Monday from U.S. governor L. Paul Bremer.

— Prime Minister Iyad Allawi (search). He accepted documents transferring sovereignty of the chaotic country with the words, "we feel we are capable of controlling the security situation." Born in 1945, a U.S.-backed Shiite Muslim with military and CIA connections. His power base, the Iraqi National Accord, made up largely of former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party and former military men, stresses secularism and counts Sunnis and Shiites among its members. A neurologist, he obtained a master of science in medicine and a doctorate in medicine from London University.

— President Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer (search). A 45-year-old prominent Sunni member of the Shammar tribe, which includes Shiite clans and is one of the largest tribes in the Gulf. A civil engineer, the Mosul-born al-Yawer studied in Saudi Arabia and at Georgetown University in the United States; Presidency is a largely ceremonial post.

— Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari (search). The 51-year-old Zebari has traveled worldwide to canvass support for what he calls a new, united and democratic Iraq. Iraq's first Kurdish foreign minister, he was a guerrilla fighter during Kurdish rebellions against ousted Iraqi leader Saddam.

— Minister of Defense Hazem Shaalan (search). Born in 1947 in Diwaniyah. Sheik of the Ghazal tribe, he earned degree in economics and management from Baghdad University in 1972 and began his career by managing the Kut and Diwaniyah branches of the Iraqi Real Estate Bank. Served as inspector general of the main branch in Baghdad, 1983-85. Forced to leave Iraq in 1985 because of opposition to former regime; managed a real estate firm in the United Kingdom; since April 2003 has been governor of Diwaniyah.

— Oil Minister Thamir Abbas Ghadban (search). Born 1945 in Babylon; earned bachelor's degree in geology from University College in London, master's degree in petroleum reservoir engineering from the Imperial College at the London University. Was detained and demoted from his position in the former regime's Oil Ministry for supporting democratic reforms.

— Interior Minister Falah Hassan al-Nakib (search): Provincial official in Tikrit, Saddam's home region. Son of Gen. Hassan al-Naqib, a former deputy chief of staff under Saddam who defected in the late 1970s and became active in the exiled opposition. A 48-year-old U.S.-trained civil engineer.

— Justice Minister Malik Dohan al-Hassan (search): Born in 1920 in Hillah; Elected president of Iraq's Lawyers Union after Saddam's fall, had lodged early protests about the conditions under which the U.S.-led occupation administration was holding prisoners and about the prisoners' lack of legal defense. Had been a political prisoner under Saddam. Was culture minister in the mid-1960s.