Under Saddam Hussein's rule, United Nations sanctions prevented Iraq from importing most computer equipment, and the Iraqi regime severely restricted access to cyberspace. In 1996, Iraq's state-run Al-Jumhuriyah Bulletin newspaper denounced the Internet as a tool of American imperialism.
After the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the US administrator, [L. Paul Bremer III], sent a letter to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, asking for .iq to be given to the new Iraqi government.
In September 2004, the Ministry of Science and Technology wrote to ICANN, announcing that it had been chosen as the entity responsible for controlling .iq. But months later, in December, ICANN received another letter from Iraq's interim prime minister Iyad Allawi asking for the domain to be given to the National Communications and Media Commission.