|King Faisal II|
At the time, in the midst of the global Cold War and the so-called "Arab Cold War,"
The coup, led by ‘Abd al-Karim Qasim and ‘Abd al-Salam ‘Arif, seemed to follow the Nasser model, but it soon became clear that Qasim was more an Iraqi nationalist than a Nasserist.Qasim cultivated the Iraqi Communist Party and other groups. ‘Arif, a pan-Arabist along Nasser lines, was sidelined.
|‘Arif (left) and Qasim|
The monarchy, Sunni, foreign, and widely seen as too pro-British, never took deep roots in Iraq, but in the international context of 1958, its overthrow led to renewed concerns in the West about Soviet and Nasserist intentions, and British moved to shore up the Jordanian Hashemites while the US landed Marines in Lebanon.