Karim Khutar al-Musawi

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Karim Khutar al-Musawi is the spokesman and U.S. Representative of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), a pro-Iranian political party.

"Iran’s strategy bore fruit with victory by a Shiite Islamist bloc ('United Iraqi Alliance') in the two National Assembly elections in 2005," Kenneth Katzman wrote in the Congressional Research Service report "Iran’s Influence in Iraq" updated June 13, 2006.

"The UIA bloc, which won 128 of the 275 Assembly seats in the December election, includes all of Iran’s Shiite Islamist protégés in Iraq, including the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), the most pro-Iranian of the groups, the Da’wa (Islamic Call) party, and Moqtada al-Sadr’s faction. Like his predecessor as Prime Minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Nuri al-Maliki is from the Da’wa Party, although Maliki spent most of his exile in Syria, not Iran. Most SCIRI leaders spent their years of exile in Iran. Moqtada Al Sadr and his supporters remained in Iraq during Saddam's rule."

And the Bush administration

In 2002, "Al-Hakim and other Iraqi opposition figures met with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell and (via satellite hookup) Vice President Dick Cheney, al-Musawi said," Mary Jacoby wrote in Salon, May 16, 2004. "Also at the 2002 meetings were [Ahmed] Chalabi, Iyad Allawi—the recently named interim prime minister of Iraq, who has longtime ties to the CIA—and two Kurdish representatives, Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani.

"'This was the first official contact for SCIRI, because before we did not automatically believe in the American direction -- whether they meant it or not,' al-Musawi said, referring to the United States' historical ambivalence toward removing Saddam, most prominently its failure to support Kurds and Shiites in their revolt after the Persian Gulf War, which Saddam brutally suppressed," Jacoby wrote.

On governance in Iraq

"And in a televised interview last spring," Reidar Visser, research fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs commented December 23, 2005, "a leading figure, Hashim al-Musawi, openly embraced the 3-governorate federal project for Basra, Maysan and Dhi Qar – and at the same time explicitly distanced himself from any large-scale federal units based on sectarian identity. I suspect that what is going on is similar to things seen within Muqtada al-Sadr’s movement over the past two years: the party leadership (actually in both cases, they are dominated by individuals with personal ties to central Iraq) insist on Iraqi nationalism in traditional terms, whereas individuals in the south become interested in the ongoing local efforts to establish a small and compact federal entity. (It was a Basra Sadrist who in August 2004 threatened with outright separation of the south during the Najaf crisis.) The big question, I guess, is whether these interesting seeds of small-scale local patriotism (perhaps a possible avenue for rapprochement between secular and Islamist forces?) will prove resilient and capable of creating public enthusiasm when challenged by the sectarian ideas underlying SCIRI’s scheme for a Shiite super-region."

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