Key players in Iraqi Kurdish politics
Born in 1966, Nechirvan Barzani, a nephew of Masoud Barzani, has been the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government since 2012. He also previously served as Prime Minister from March 2006 to August 2009. His first name means ‘hunter’ in Kurdish. In 1975, his family was forced into exile in Iran. He took an active role in Kurdish politics following the death of his father, Idris Barzani. He was elected to the KDP central committee in 1989, and reelected in 1993. After the 1991 Gulf War, he participated in the negotiations with the Iraqi government, and is credited with carrying out negotiations with the Iraqi government after the First Gulf War.
Born in 1969, he is a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party leadership and holds the powerful position of Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council. He is the son of Masoud Barzani, and a member of the current government. At the age of 16, he joined the Peshmerga, and took part in the guerrilla war against Saddam Hussain’s regime. Masrour oversees security, military, and intelligence matters in Iraqi Kurdistan. He played a key role in the fight against Daesh, through the Kurdish special forces attached to the Counter-Terrorism Department.
He is an Iraqi Kurdish politician. A former prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, he is also a former deputy prime minister of the Iraqi federal government. Unlike the Barzanis, Salih, 57, is a key member of the rival Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party. In 1979, he was arrested by Saddam’s regime, and is said to have suffered brutal torture. A few years after his release, he fled to the UK. Salih spearheaded the Kurdistani List in the Iraqi Kurdistan legislative election, 2009. The list won 59 of 111 seats.
Kurdish MPs at a session of Kurdistan’s regional parliament in Arbil, capital of the autonomous Kurdish region.