Barzani, Masoud, 1946–, Kurdish political leader, b. Mahabad, Iran. The son of Mustafa Barzani, founder of the Kurdistan Democratic party (KDP), he joined the Kurdish forces fighting for autonomy from Iraq, and became KDP leader upon his father's death (1979). He played a key role in creating an autonomous Kurdish region after the fall of Suddam Hussein (2003), and became president of Iraqi Kurdistan in 2005. His holding of a successful independence referendum in 2017, which was rejected by Iraq, led Iraqi forces to seize Kirkuk and other territories the Kurds had gained in the fight against the Islamic State, and Barzani resigned as regional president.
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