LONDON (Jul. 22)
Middle East experts here said today that the military coup in Iraq which resulted in the ouster of President Abdel Rahman Aref would further loosen the weak ties that bind the Arab leadership in an uneasy alliance against Israel. While, as had been expected, the seizure of power by Gen. Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr was bound to weaken the influence of President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt in Baghdad, observers here noted trends in the Iraqi capital which they said could constitute a threat to all the Arab leaders.
Gen. Aref had close ties with Nasser and the Syrian leadership. The new rulers in Iraq, according to reports reaching here, have launched a campaign to blame the debacle in the Six-Day War on Aref and, by implication, on the Egyptian and Syrian leaders.
Scores of Iraqi politicians considered friendly to Nasser have been rounded up and jailed in the last few days. There were indications that the new regime intends to repudiate the deals made with France by the Aref Government for the purchase of 54 Mirage jet fighter planes for the Iraq Air Force and for a highly valuable oil concession given to the French concern, ERAP. Former Premier Lt. Gen. Taher Yahya, who negotiated the oil deal, was among the first to be arrested. Most of the Iraqis involved in the oil negotiations were also jailed by the new regime.