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WikiLeaks: 2007-09-25: 07BAGHDAD3227: View on Shifting Alliances and Other Issues from an Independent COR Member

by WikiLeaks. 07BAGHDAD3227: September 25, 2007.

Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 06:24 PM UT


Viewing cable 07BAGHDAD3227, VIEW ON SHIFTING ALLIANCES AND OTHER ISSUES FROM

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07BAGHDAD3227 2007-09-25 14:38 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO7203
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #3227/01 2681438
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 251438Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3563
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 003227 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/19/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR IZ
SUBJECT: VIEW ON SHIFTING ALLIANCES AND OTHER ISSUES FROM 
AN INDEPENDENT COR MEMBER 
 
REF: BAGHDAD 3155 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor Matt Tueller for reasons 1.4 (b) and 
 (d) 
 
1. (C) Summary: Council of Representatives (CoR) member 
Yonadam Kanna (Rafidayn) told PolOff on September 18 that 
former PM Allawi is the best candidate to succeed PM Maliki 
should a no confidence vote occur.  He mentioned Dr. Mehdi 
Hafedh, an independent CoR member (once aligned with 
Iraqiyya), and VP Adil Abd al-Mahdi as other potential 
candidates.  Kanna does not think the GOI is serious about 
national reconciliation and highlighted the problem of 
obtaining the "right" version of the de-ba'athification law 
as an example of continuing disagreements.  He views the 
influence of ideology and religion in Iraq, the Kurds' 
attempt to annex more land, and Iran and Syria's interference 
in the country as obstacles to stabilization.  End summary. 
 
ALLAWI BEST CHOICE TO SUCCEED MALIKI 
------------------------------------ 
 
2. (C) CoR member and Deputy Chair of the Economic, 
Investment and Reconstruction Committee Yonadam Kanna told 
PolOff that over fifty percent of the CoR members think Iraq 
is moving in the wrong direction.  He said "former Prime 
Minister Allawi would be the best candidate" to succeed 
Maliki should a no confidence vote occur in the CoR, adding 
that Allawi would enjoy the support of other neighboring 
countries (except Iran).  As the next best candidate, he 
mentioned Dr. Mehdi Hafedh (Shi'a/Independent - former 
Iraqiyya), calling him an "excellent choice" for PM given his 
strong pro-market economic views.  He also raised VP Adil Abd 
al-Mahdi's name as a possible contender, but mentioned Mahdi 
may have problems gaining the complete support of his own 
party. 
 
3. (C) He called the August agreement by the five political 
leaders a "big mistake," saying that despite the agreement, 
none of the parties in the "group of four" trusted one 
another.  He hinted that the Sadrists might align with former 
PM Ayad Allawi and suggested that Da'wa Tanzim might be 
shifting its loyalties away from Maliki. 
 
NATIONAL RECONCILIATION, DE-BA'ATH 
---------------------------------- 
 
4. (C) Kanna said he thinks the government is not "serious" 
about national reconciliation.  He called the National 
Reconciliation Commission in the Prime Minister's Office 
"useless."  He also said activity in the committee for 
national reconciliation in the CoR is now frozen, despite the 
fact the committee just started up several months ago.  He 
stated there were four conferences on national reconciliation 
during the past year that yielded no clear results.  Kanna 
pointed to the multiple versions of the da-ba'athification 
law floating around as evidence of continuing disagreement 
among the various factions. 
 
OBSTACLES IN IRAQ 
----------------- 
 
5. (C) Kanna mentioned three obstacles to stability in Iraq. 
First, he highlighted the push for a religious state and the 
influence of ideology in political parties and the government 
as critical impediments.  He emphasized the need for 
non-sectarian moderates as the key to success for Iraq's 
future.  He also criticized the Kurds for trying to illegally 
annex more lands, referring to the dispute over lands in 
Kirkuk and Ninewa.  Kanna stressed the interference of Iraq's 
neighbors in Iraqi internal matters, specifically referencing 
Syria and Iran. 
 
OTHER DRAFT LAWS 
---------------- 
 
6. (C) Regarding the "Organization of Justice and National 
Balance" draft law that received a second reading on 
September 8, Kanna said there is opposition to this law and 
does not think it will pass.  (Note: This law would require 
an equal balance of Shi'a, Kurds, and Sunnis in each 
ministry.  This law has been referred back to the Committee 
on Civil Society Organizations for more discussion and is 
also opposed by Iraqiyya members (reftel).  End note). 
 
BIO NOTE 
-------- 
 
7. (C) Yonadam Kanna represents the Ninewa province in the 
CoR as an Assyrian Christian and a member of the Assyrian 
Democratic Movement.  He was born in Anbar in 1951, studied 
at the University of Suleymaniah and now resides in Baghdad. 
 
BAGHDAD 00003227  002 OF 002 
 
 
He is the sole CoR member from the Rafidayn party and the 
Deputy Chair of the Economic, Investment, and Reconstruction 
Committee.  He is a civil engineer by background.  He fled 
the country in 1984, when he was sentenced to death in 
absentia by Saddam's government.  He then spent some time 
abroad, but returned and was part of the 1991 uprising in 
Kirkuk/Irbil.  He lived for nearly ten years in Irbil 
(1992-2001), where he served in the KRG as the Minister of 
Public Works, Minister of Industry and Minerals, and Minister 
of Energy.  He was a member of both the Iraqi Governing 
Council and the Transitional National Assembly (TNA).  He 
speaks good English and is supportive of USG economic and 
political goals. 
CROCKER

 



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