6 Things to Know About Iraq’s President Barham Salih

As an investor—particularly if you’re a long-term investor in the Iraqi Dinar—learning about Barham Salih, the president of Iraq, will give you a better understanding of the country’s future. The faster Iraq can make an economic recovery, the sooner you can expect the Iraqi Dinar to revalue. By understanding the role that the president plays in improving economic progress, you’ll be in a better position to evaluate his policies and determine if they will help or hinder the economy.


  1. Possesses Excellent Professional and Political Qualifications
  2. Proposed Unification to Rebuild Iraq
  3. Proved His Ability by Governing Kurdistan
  4. Supports Cooperative International Policies with Key Geopolitical Players
  5. Offers Iraq a Visionary Leadership
  6. Promises Economic Reform in a Post-Isis Era

Barham Salih won the majority of votes during the election for the Iraqi Presidency for several reasons. Let us now take a closer look at why Barham Salih won the election.

1. Barham Salih Possesses Excellent Professional and Political Qualifications

On October 2, 2018, Dr. Barham Salih became the president of Iraq because he was considered to be one of the most qualified people to rebuild Iraq. Barham Salih is a well-educated technocrat, earning a doctorate in Statistics and Computer Applications in Engineering from the University of Liverpool, and he is also an experienced politician familiar with the nuances of Iraqi politics and power plays.

Salih has been an international diplomat, with some Western journalists asserting that he was one of the most talented Iraqi diplomats in Washington. He has also held key Iraqi government positions, including serving as the prime minister of the regional government of Kurdistan. His exemplary personal history, foreign affairs experience, and regional political experience played a huge role in helping him secure the votes to become president of Iraq. As the only Kurdish candidate from the party of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party with the credibility to run for the presidential elections, he was widely regarded as the most qualified candidate of the region and the best hope for the country.

The following characteristics helped him stand out during the elections as someone who could unite and rebuild Iraq:

  • He believes in the value of dialogue between different parties, whether they were political, religious, or ethnic.
  • He defends the coexistence of diverse political groups.
  • He understands the complexities of Iraqi life, ranging from its political shortcomings to the conflicted interests of its diverse ethnic groups.
  • He knows how to work with the international community trying to support the reconstruction of the country.
  • He champions bedrock democratic principles. For example, he expressed a vision that Kurds, Sunnis, Shia, and other groups work together to rebuild Iraq.
  • He envisions a unified country, a strong economy, liberal democratic institutions, and fair justice
  • His history as a politician testifies to his strong moral compass.

2. Barham Salih Proposed Unification to Rebuild Iraq

One way to appreciate Salih’s unique vision is to contrast him with Fuad Hussein, the rival candidate from the Kurdish Democratic Party of Kurdistan (KDP). The KDP nominated Hussein for the presidency. However, while Hussein ran on a Kurdish referendum that proposed a partition of Kurdistan from Iraq, Salih defended the ideals of a united country under a federal democracy.

3. Barham Salih Proved His Ability by Governing Kurdistan 

The majority of voters regarded Salih as the only man for the job because he had already established proof of a concept. When he was premier of Kurdistan, the region flourished, and a robust economy led to a boom in real estate development.

Many progressive changes became possible because of Salih’s able governance:

  • Hundreds of thousands of people worked on rebuilding their homes.
  • Thousands of students went overseas to secure higher education.
  • Hundreds of entrepreneurs launched businesses.

4. Barham Salih Supports Cooperative International Policies with Key Geopolitical Players

As president, Salih still draws upon the invaluable lessons he learned as a diplomat on the value of initiating and maintaining good relationships. Today, Washington and Tehran both view Salih’s electoral success in a positive light. They see him as a mediator who will steer Iraq in the right direction.

Many countries—underdeveloped, developing, and developed—have suffered through the whims of populist, sectarian, and nationalistic leaders. This distressing state of affairs is unlikely to occur during Salih’s watch because he understands the complexities of statesmanship. He knows how to deescalate the political tension between Erbil and Baghdad and the Islamic sectarian tensions between Shia and Sunni.

This is good news for Iraqi dinar investors in the US. Rather than review dinar recaps for answers to Google queries like, “Did Donald Trump buy Iraqi dinar?” they can now ask, “How quickly will the Iraqi economy recover and trigger a dinar revaluation?”

5. Barham Salih Offers Iraq a Visionary Leadership

Salih has already made his views plain about the new Iraqi political system installed after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. He has bluntly stated that the reforms expected after the invasion of the US-led military coalition have failed to meet the criteria of a liberal democracy. He fully knows that the Iraqi people still don’t have the country they hoped for despite the stability against warring factions provided by the US military presence after the war. Iraq has become a kleptocracy torn apart by partisan and ethnic conflicts.

When Kurdish activism was at its height, regional politicians argued for an independent country. Salih, staying true to his moral compass, defended a united Iraq. Today as American, Russian, and Iranian influencers try to suggest how he should spearhead Iraqi politics, he has declared that the purpose of the Iraq president is to put the interests of the Iraqi people first.

Here are some principle ideas of his vision for Iraq:

  • Regional leaders in different parts of Iraq should work together to resolve their political and economic differences.
  • The dominant Shiite parties should share power with their enemies, the Sunnis so that no group in Iraq becomes subjugated and marginalized. Disenfranchising the Sunnis will only incubate terrorism. Instead, it’s time for Iraqis to distance themselves from earlier political debacles, Islamic sectarianism, and ethnic prejudices.
  • The government should fight internal corruption through cross-ethnic collaboration.
  • A streamlined bureaucracy is necessary to attract much needed foreign investments.
  • The post-war reconstruction of Iraq will require massive cooperation. It will be almost impossible to relaunch the economy without considering the mutual interests of diverse groups.

6. Barham Salih Promises Economic Reform in a Post-Isis Era  

Economic reform can resolve many of Iraq’s problems. For instance, one unresolved issue is that the country still has about 20,000 Jihadist fighters who could spark more military conflicts—perhaps not one as a long and devastating as the Iraqi civil war that started in 2014 and continued until December 2017, but nevertheless one destructive enough to derail hopes for a full-out economic recovery.

The latest news on Iraqi Jihadist forces, according to high-ranking Iraqi sources, is that they have clustered in the northern and western parts of Baghdad, spread through Kirkuk and established a presence in western Mosul.

Many problems plague Iraq. Barham Salih aspires to improve the funding, economic cooperation, technology, and other resources the country needs for massive reconstruction projects. First, Iraq needs to create stability between national, regional, and local economic interests. Second, Iraq needs to win the support of global powers like the US, the EU, and Russia. And third, Iraq needs the help of Middle Eastern neighbors like Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.

The agenda he is promoting is not an easy one to implement because there are many political tensions between many of these countries. While they have all expressed an interest in investing the money and technical expertise needed for the reconstruction of Iraq, they also have conflicting foreign policy relations with each other. For instance, Saudi Arabia’s monarchy watches Turkey because that country official backs the Muslim brotherhood that overthrew Egypt’s leader Hosni Mubarak by stirring a popular uprising against Arab dictators and monarchs. Meanwhile, Trump administration watch Iran for a military threat to American interests.

By coordinating allies and resources, Iraq could tap into the potential benefits of its large oil reserves. Improving oil revenues would enhance the standard of living of the Iraqi people. Reconstruction of the oil industry would have a positive impact on the entire population of the country.

Salih’s policies also include reducing the bloated payroll of officials in the public sector and increasing Iraqi government partnerships with international investment firms.


With Barham Salih now serving as the tenth President of Iraq, there is a higher likelihood that the Central Bank of Iraq will announce some good news about a dinar revaluation. When this will happen is anyone’s guess, but at least such a possibility is far more likely to occur.

As president, Salih faces one conflict after another for pushing for the reconstruction of the country. The newly elected president faces many daunting challenges. Parliamentary debates may not always support his interpretation of liberal democratic reform. Although he won the popular majority vote and has a large base, Iraqi politics is anything but straightforward. Many lawmakers in parliament view his progressive ideas of wide-sweeping changes as a threat to their partisan agendas and seek to undermine him.

While his visionary policies may seem indispensable for rebuilding Iraq after the crisis of ISIS devastated the country, we must remember that he is only the Iraqi President and not it’s Prime Minister. This means he is not the leader of Iraq. Unlike the Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq, the presidency is a ceremonial position.

So, although he may be the right man for the job, the Iraqi constitution has constrained his powers, endowing his office with a limited range of executive powers. Still, he is a man of power and influence and may attain the role of Prime Minister in the future. This is not improbable—after all, the current Prime Minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi al-Muntafiki, was once the Vice President of Iraq, serving in that position from 2005 to 2011.

Interestingly, the Iraqi people also selected the most suitable candidate for the role of Prime Minister. Abdul Mahdi is also the perfect man for his new position because he is an experienced politician. Besides serving as a former vice president, he has also served as the finance minister. So, political analysts expect the two men to work in tandem to change Iraq for the better. Barham Salih will raise the profile of the president of Iraq, while Iraq leader Abdul Mahdi will steer the country toward greater levels of internal security, national unity, and global independence.