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06BAGHDAD4612 2006-12-18 19:24:00 SECRET Embassy Baghdad
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Tags:   PGOV IZ 
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1. (S) Falih al-Fiyadh, a senior Dawa figure who is a member
of the Council of Representatives (CoR) and of the High
Commission for National Reconciliation, told PolCouns
December 17 that he had serious doubts about the efficacy and
utility of and the intentions behind the emerging moderate
front. He characterized the idea that the Iraqi Islamic
Party (IIP) and SCIRI would work together in a coalition as a
"dream." He also questioned how the Kurds could be
considered moderate given their "commitment to leaving Iraq"
and their "extreme position" on issues like Kirkuk. Pointing
to the regions formation law as an example of where
legislation moved forward without a formal moderate front, he
questioned the need for such a front and its motivations.
According to al-Fiyadh, one of the purposes of the moderate
front cited by its initiators is to isolate extreme groups
like the Sadrists, yet, he pointed out, the regions formation
bill passed without a formal moderate front. "The true
reasons for forming this front are different from what they
are saying," he continued. (Note: PolOffs believe he may
have been implying that real reason is to wrest power away
from Prime Minister Maliki. End note.) Al-Fiyadh said that
the Prime Minister "could not say no" to the idea of the
moderate front but cautioned that Dawa as a party had not yet
entered it.

2. (S) Comment: Dawa leaders Ali al-Adeeb and Haider
al-Abbadi and PM insider Sami al-Askari have each questioned
the moderate front concept (refs A and C). The PM's remarks
at the December 16 press conference, where leaders from
SCIRI, IIP, KDP, PUK, and Dawa (i.e., the PM) announced the
front's creation (while noting the need for further
negotiation; ref B), show that he is careful to portray the
front in open, general, and inclusive language, as "a
continuation of the national reconciliation process" that is
"open to those who wish to be true partners." Further
negotiations on the shape of the front, in which Ali al-Adeeb
is designated to participate, will reveal the extent to which
Dawa responds to the Prime Minister's involvement in this
initiative. End comment.