When the modern state of Iraq had just been established in the 1920s, a group of notables in Basra made a bid to establish the Gulf city as a separate merchant republic. They envisaged a pro-British enclave that could become an emporium for the entire Gulf region. Their second-best option was federation with Baghdad. In the end, all failed and Iraqi nationalism triumphed, sealing the fate of the Gulf city for the rest of the century. After 2003, localist movements have once more emerged in Basra… Full story here.