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WikiLeaks: 2006-06-17: 06BAGHDAD2048: Ninewa Vice Governor Suggests Iraq Move Away From Unity Government and towards Federalism for All

by WikiLeaks. 06BAGHDAD2048: June 17, 2006.

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 04:41 PM UT


Viewing cable 06BAGHDAD2048, NINEWA VICE GOVERNOR SUGGESTS IRAQ MOVE AWAY FROM

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06BAGHDAD2048 2006-06-17 11:34 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO2315
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2048/01 1681134
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 171134Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5115
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0038
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0007
RUEHLU/AMEMBASSY LUANDA 0002
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002048 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/17/2016 
TAGS: PREL PINS PINT PGOV PHUM IZ MARR ECON
SUBJECT: NINEWA VICE GOVERNOR SUGGESTS IRAQ MOVE AWAY  FROM 
UNITY GOVERNMENT AND TOWARDS FEDERALISM FOR ALL 
 
Classified By: PRT Leader Cameron Munter.  Reasons 1.4 (B) 
and (D). 
 
This is a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Ninewa 
cable, MOSUL 59, transmitted from BAGHDAD as Mosul no 
longer has record traffic capability. 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
1.  (C) After three years on the job Ninewa's vice 
governor, Khasro Goran, has proven to be a very polished 
and powerful politician with strong ties to the regional 
government in Iraqi Kurdistan.  Goran, a Kurd, sees 
Iraq's future through a Kurdish lens.  In his mind, the 
Kurds' Arab counterparts continue fighting and "moving 
backward" by electing sectarian officials, while the 
Kurds move forward by attracting foreign investment and 
adding to security and stability in the country.  Because 
of the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG's) emphasis 
on secularism, discrimination is at a minimum and women 
and minorities have been invited to participate in all 
areas of the government.  Goran suggests Iraq be 
partitioned into four separate federal units, including a 
Shia controlled south, a Sunni Arab west, Kurdish north, 
and a Brussels-style Baghdad.  The real power would be in 
the units, however, but the union would allow the country 
to better protect itself from its neighbors.  For this to 
happen, Goran believes the USG will have to change its 
unity government policy and re-think how it treats each 
major ethnic group in Iraq.  End Summary. 
 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
SECTARIANISM KEEPING A UNITED GOI FROM ADVANCING 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
2.  (C) During a meeting with PolOff on June 15, Goran 
said he hoped the new GOI would do a better job than the 
last administration to keep the peace and provide 
security.  However, he claimed, there were many obstacles 
that needed to be overcome: the Shia would have to 
realize they could not ram through programs and policies 
they preferred without consideration of other groups in 
the country.  The Sunnis, on the other hand, would have 
to come to grips finally with their loss of hegemony. 
The Arabs were still "stuck in the past," unable to truly 
move away from the hard-line "religious zealots" in their 
parties that were shifting the central government towards 
sectarianism, he said.  As long as fighting between those 
two groups persisted, said Goran, the Kurds would 
continue taking care of themselves.  If needed, he said, 
the Kurds would be happy to secede from the country. 
Goran claimed the Kurds were the only major group in Iraq 
that understood advancement depended on the separation of 
religious institutions from the state.  It was the only 
way a society could create laws that were respectful to 
all religions, cultures and customs, he said.  A secular 
state did not try to impose its religious views on 
anyone, said Goran, a point the Arabs failed to grasp. 
 
-------------------------------------------- 
POLITICAL FUTURE OF IRAQ: FEDERALISM FOR ALL 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
3.  (C) Goran said Iraq was faced with one of three 
choices: return to dictatorship, which was unlikely; move 
towards a true unity government, which so far was failing 
because of Sunni Arab and Shia violence and sectarianism; 
or create a country of separate federal units.  Goran 
suggested Iraq could better function if federalism was 
agreed upon by the country's three major ethnic groups, 
with a Shia-controlled south, a Sunni Arab-led west, 
Kurdish north, and a "Brussels-style" arrangement in 
Baghdad.  The political reality was that the change was 
already happening, he claimed, since violence was causing 
people to relocate to areas where they could live in the 
relative comfort with their own kind.  Sunni and Shia had 
been fighting since the Shia broke away and followed Ali, 
said Goran; this was a war that had been going on for 
centuries.  The Shia, a slight majority in the country, 
was now trying to get the all Iraqis to pledge to Ali 
during the call for prayer, claimed Goran.  "Silly 
tactics" such as these prevented the country from 
progressing, he said.  Goran believed if the USG could 
 
BAGHDAD 00002048  002 OF 002 
 
 
adjust its policy of creating a unity government in Iraq, 
by having a unique relationship with each major ethnic 
group, the outcome would benefit everyone, especially the 
U.S. and the Kurds. 
 
----------------------------- 
THE EVER-EXPANDING GREEN LINE 
----------------------------- 
 
4.  (C) "If you ask any Kurd he'll tell you he'd rather 
have his own country," Goran claimed.  But such an 
outcome was unlikely in the near future because Iraq's 
neighbors, such as Turkey, Iran, and Syria, feared that 
Kurds in their countries would also call for 
independence, he said.  Goran estimated there were 32 
million Kurds throughout the region.  He said he found it 
odd that smaller groups of people already had their own 
country, such Serbia and Montenegro, whose population 
numbered about a third of all Kurds.  Goran hoped the 
national census due in spring 2007 would bring about the 
implementation of Article 140 (TAL 58) of the 
constitution by deciding the future of Kirkuk. 
Constituents in areas such as Sinjar, Kirkuk, Zumar, 
Makhmour and minority areas of eastern Ninewa should be 
allowed a referendum vote to decide whether they too 
might wish to accede to the KRG.  Polls conducted by the 
KRG in those areas already showed the people were 
shifting towards the KRG, he claimed.  Goran said while 
parts of western Ninewa and eastern Mosul were attractive 
to the KRG, places like Tal Afar and western Mosul were 
not: "Tal Afar is too much trouble, and that's why we 
don't want any part of that city," he said. 
 
5.  (C) If the KRG were permitted to annex eastern 
Ninewa, for example, Goran claimed minorities would be 
better protected.  The Kurds had a history of taking care 
of minorities in Iraq, he said, especially Christians 
discriminated against by the Arabs for centuries.  The 
Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM) party disliked the 
Kurds because the Kurds did not believe ADM spoke for all 
Christians in Iraq.  The KRG was assisting smaller 
Christian parties, and was a big supporter of the 
Orthodox and Catholic and indigenous Christian churches 
in Iraq.  There were even three Christian ministers now 
serving in the KRG, a first in the history of the 
government, he said.  Goran still believed the Yezidi 
were essentially Kurds, since Kurds were Yezidis that 
converted to Islam.  And the Shabek were Kurds, contrary 
to what Shia coalition and national assemblyman, Dr. 
Hunain al-Qado claimed.  "Al-Qado is an opportunist," 
said Goran, saying al-Qado could not get assurances from 
the Kurdish coalition before last year's national 
election so he joined with the Shia.  Goran claimed to 
have video evidence of al-Qado saying all Shabek were 
Kurds during a speech in Irbil in 2004. 
 
------- 
COMMENT 
------- 
 
6.  (C) Goran's comments track with those we hear from 
some other Kurds, and even from other groups in northern 
Iraq.  With additional numbers of Shia and Christians 
reportedly moving from southern Iraq and Baghdad to live 
with relatives in more peaceful areas of eastern Ninewa, 
for example, Goran has evidence to continue building the 
case for partitioning the country along ethnic lines. 
While he admitted he was not sure how such a partition 
would take place, or how a partitioned state would 
function, or how the national security forces would 
perform if called upon to protect the nation at a time of 
war, his statements reveal what many Kurds in Iraq say 
they really prefer: eventually, the dream of an 
independent Kurdistan; but in the short run, separation 
from the Arab conflicts of Sunni and Shia to the south. 
 
SPECKHARD

 



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