Global Policy Forum

Iraqi Political Groups


By Kathleen Ridolfo

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
July 6, 2004

Part I

Constitutional Monarchy Movement. Headed by Sharif Ali bin al-Husayn, cousin of the deposed Iraqi king, Faysal II, who was killed in the 1958 coup in Iraq. The group's website claims: "Constitutional monarchy is the one thing that could rescue Iraq from the factional conflicts between the various groups over the question of the position of the head of the state, because the Monarch would not favor one group to the detriment of another, but rather would represent all the people." The group supports an elected national assembly, and claims that it can maintain a balance in Iraq because "Monarchy needs not to be affected by the political ideologies of the competing parties because its main role is an arbitrator between all and guarantor of the constitution." The CMM was one of seven opposition groups to receive financial support from the United States prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom. However, the group was not afforded a seat on the interim Governing Council, much to the chagrin of al-Husayn (

Islamic Da'wah (Call) Party. Established in 1957-58, it is largely seen as a Shi'a organization, but does claim some Sunni membership. The spokesman of the party is Ibrahim al-Ja'fari, who served on the Iraqi Governing Council. The party is arguably the biggest and most well-supported Shi'a group in Iraq, having long opposed Ba'athist rule. The group was primarily based in Iran from 1980, after Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein declared membership to the group as punishable by death. The group attempted to assassinate former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz in April 1980. The party joined the so-called Group of Seven leading Iraqi political parties to enjoy the support of the United States following the downfall of the Hussein regime. Prior to that, the group had limited contact with Iraqi opposition parties. Al-Da'wah claims to have lost 77,000 members to the Hussein regime. Some 40,000 Shi'ites were deported by the Ba'athist regime beginning in the 1970s after being labeled "Iranians" (

Iraqi Islamic Liberation Party. Founded in 1953 by Sheikh Taqi al-Din al-Nabahani and led by Sheikh Abd al-Qadim Zallum, who died in April 2003. The group considers itself a "branch" of the Iraqi Islamic Liberation Party, which is present in a number of countries. The party is also banned in many Arab countries states, including Iraq under previous regimes. It supports the establishment of an Islamic state under an Islamic caliphate. Party spokesman Abu al-Harith Azzam told Baghdad's "Al-Shira" in an interview published on 10 February 2004 that his group did not register (to date, groups are not required to do so) as a political party, and has no intention of doing so. The party does not coordinate with other Islamic parties. The party calls for an end to the occupation of Iraq, but does not support attempts to end the occupation through military action. The party is open to any Islamic sect, and any ethnicity, Azzam said, adding, "Being a Muslim is enough to accept him as a member in the party." The group's membership is unknown, but is thought to be negligible.

Iraqi Justice and Development Party. Established in December 2003, "Al-Ittihad" described it as a "political, social, and civil party that calls for political participation within a federal Iraq." It reportedly supports religious and ideological freedom. The group also supports Arab and Islamic causes and calls for Islam to be the basic source of legislation in Iraq. Calls for equality among citizens to be upheld. It is not known whether it is related to Turkey's ruling party of the same name.

Iraqi National Accord. Founded in 1990 and headed by interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. The INA was one of the prominent opposition groups that received funding from the United States before the overthrow of the Hussein regime. Also known as the National Reconciliation Movement.

The group published its "political program" in its newspaper, "Baghdad," on 17 February 2004. It stressed the need to transfer sovereignty in accordance with the agreed upon date between Iraqis and coalition forces, as well as the transfer of responsibility for natural resources and foreign policy to Iraqi hands; it stressed the need for a national reconciliation project that includes a financial settlement for police, army, and government workers who were dismissed from their duties by the coalition, and the participation of those not involved in the regime's crimes in a new civil society; strengthening security and defense capabilities; and adopting new economic initiatives. The INA also calls for strong relations with Iraq's neighbors, the establishment of a vibrant civil society, and the drafting of a strong constitution that would protect the rights of all Iraqis.

Allawi is a former Ba'athist who left Iraq in the 1970s after a falling out with Hussein. He later survived an assassination attempt in the U.K. in 1978, purportedly ordered by Hussein. Membership of his group largely consists of ex-Ba'athists and military men opposed to the Hussein regime. A medical doctor by training, Allawi is a Shi'a. Islamic Democratic Current Party. Established in March 2003 and led by Muhammad Abd al-Jabbar Shabbut, who is from Al-Kut. Shabbut told the Israeli Arab weekly "Al-Sinnarah" in an interview published on 7 May 2004 that his party combines Islam as a cultural basis and democracy as a neutral procedural mechanism as its platform. Shabbut has been an Islamic political activist since the mid-1960s. He left Iraq in the late 1970s after the Ba'athist regime clamped down on the Islamic movement in Iraq. According to "Al-Sinnarah," Shabbut was sentenced to death in absentia for his antiregime activism, and only returned to Iraq following the fall of the Hussein regime. Shabbut claims some 40,000 Sunni, Shi'ite, and Christian members to his party, which he says does not insist on an Islamic affiliation. He told "Al-Sinnarah" that based on opinion polls inside Iraq, "We are confident that the Iraqi people are aware of the need to elect a statesmen and not a man of religion as the head of state." He added that his party is different from other Islamic parties because it "is not a religious party," and because it "officially adopt[s] democracy in its documents and considers [democracy] part of the Islamic theory" of the party. Shabbut is the author of 13 books on Islamic thought.

Islamic Movement of Kurdistan. Established in the mid-1980s and led by Mullah Ali Abd al-Aziz Halabji. Set up a governing body in the Halabjah region of northern Iraq in 1998, but reportedly does not impose strict Islamic law. Abd al-Rahman Abd al-Rahim, a member of the group's consultative council, told London-based "Al-Sharq al-Awsat" in an interview published on 5 August 2003 that the movement's leader was unjustly arrested by U.S. forces in Halabjah. He claimed that Mullah Ali Abd al-Aziz is a member of the former Iraqi opposition who has since called for "means other than weapons" to further the movement's agenda. Asked about reported links by the movement to Ansar Al-Islam group, Abd al-Rahim said, "The Ansar Al-Islam group members were not happy with our new [nonviolent] policy. They are vehemently opposed to the stand of [Abd al-Aziz] on cooperation with the provincial [Kurdistan] government and the movement's participation in municipal elections." Asked whether the movement will disarm its fighters, he said, "Every party in the world should reconsider its stands and policies every now and then, and this applies to us.... We believe that our priorities at this current stage are limited to preaching and guidance. And I assure you that we have no training or other camps. All our activities are now confined to party organizational affairs." It has received aid from Iran, the United States (after 1998), and possibly Saudi Arabia.

Kurdistan Islamic Group. Established by Ali Bapir in May 2001. Bapir is a former member of the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan. The group reportedly receives funding from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. It has been linked to the terrorist group Ansar Al-Islam, but released a statement on 11 October 2004 in "Komal" denying that any such links existed. Bapir was interviewed in "Komal" in January 2003. He said: " Our policy is that we enter into fraternity and cooperation with all Islamic groups. We seek such fraternal relations with Islamic parties and organizations, Islamist figures, and groups that follow a Salafi tradition or a Sufi or a scientific tradition. In the Islamic Group, we believe that the group must be open-minded and seek fraternity with all those who call or act for Islam. If we see a mistake, we will try to correct it through dialogue and by creating a fraternal atmosphere."

Kurdistan Communist Party. Declared itself a party in 1993 after separating from the Iraqi Communist Party. It is headed by Kamal Shakir, who succeeded Karim Ahmad in April 2004. It was one of the first political groups to call for an Iraqi interim government after the fall of the Hussein regime. In April 2004, the party called for an expansion of the Iraqi Governing Council to serve as the interim government following the 30 June transfer of power. The party has good relations with the main Kurdish groups the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party. It is estimated to have around 5,000 members.

Kurdistan Islamic Union. Describes itself as "an Islamic reformative political party that strives to solve all political, social, economic and cultural matters of the people in Kurdistan from an Islamic perspective which can achieve the rights, general freedom, and social justice ( The party secretary is Salah al-Din Baha al-Din, who also held a seat on the Iraqi Governing Council. The group draws a strong base of support from the student population and is reportedly on good terms with Kurdistan Democratic Party head Barzani and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan chief Talabani. However, Baha al-Din told "Hawlati" in May 2004 that he doesn't believe the KDP and PUK are serious about unifying their administrations in northern Iraq. The group is closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party. Led by Muhammad Jahi Mahmud. It has been critical of Kurdistan Democratic Party head Barzani and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan chief Talabani because Mahmud feels they could "care less" about the unity of Kurdistan. "As long as the United States supports and cooperates with them, they will neither unify nor will they accept to have partners with them in the government.

Kurdistan Toilers' Party. Established in 1985 by members of the Kurdistan Socialist Party who left due to ideological differences. It is headed by Qadir Aziz. He wants a federal system in Iraq that would be a "national, geographic federal system, based on the recorded historical and geographic facts," "Al-Sharq al-Awsat" reported on 30 July 2003. It worked with the Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party in December 2000 to try to negotiate an end to fighting between the Kurdistan Workers' Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. "Hawlati" reported on 29 October 2003 that the Kurdistan Toilers' Party and the Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party agreed to merge into a new group to be known as the Kurdistan Socialist Party.

Part II

Media reports indicate that there are some 200 political groups active in Iraq today. This compilation, coupled with Part I, seeks to provide insight into the diverse leanings of political groups currently emerging in Iraq. It is by no means meant to be a comprehensive list of all Iraqi political groups.

Ahl Al-Sunna wa al-Jama'a. The Ahl Al-Sunna wa Al-Jama'a is an umbrella organization that claims to coordinate the actions and political platforms of various Sunni religious movements; its 230 members include Kurds and Turkomans, as well as Arabs. Although it explicitly supports an Islamic government, the group is more moderate than the Hayat Al-Ulama Al-Muslimin, with which it competes to represent Iraqi Sunnis, although several individuals sit on both councils.

Assyrian Democratic Movement. Established in 1979, this group began actively struggling against the Hussein regime in 1982. It is headed by Yonadam Kanna. The movement's website ( describes it as "a democratic and political organization -- national and patriotic -- to defend our people and their legitimate rights and to struggle under the banner of [a] free democratic Iraq." Calls for official recognition of Assyrian rights and the "unity of our people under their several identities": Chaldean, Syriac, and Assyrian. The group supports the idea of a federal Iraq, and is on good relations with other Assyrian and Kurdish groups present in northern Iraq, as well as with Shi'a leaders in southern Iraq. The movement is also represented in the Kurdistan parliament. Kanna was afforded a seat on the Iraqi Governing Council. His group has been targeted by militants on several occasions since the fall of the Hussein regime. Operates Assyrian Radio.

Assyrian National Congress. Established in 1983, this group acts as an umbrella group for the Bet Nahrain Democratic Party and the Assyrian American Leadership Council. In 2002, the group entered into an alliance with the Iraqi Free Officers and Civilians Movement, headed by Najib al-Salihi to "continue the struggle towards a united democratic and free Iraq." Like the Assyrian Patriotic Party, the congress was critical of the Iraqi National Congress (INC) in the late 1990s for its neglect of Assyrians as a community in opposition to President Hussein. The political arm of the congress is the Assyrian United Front. The group's website is

Assyrian Patriotic Party. Established in 1973 in Baghdad, this party entered into an official alliance with the Assyrian Democratic Movement in 1991. The party is based in Dahuk, northern Iraq. Problems with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) reportedly surfaced in 1999, when the KDP closed the party's offices for four days. The party was critical of the Iraqi National Congress in that year for its apparent disregard for the Assyrian role in the opposition. Albert Yelda and Nimrud Baito are among the group's leaders.

Assyrian Socialist Party. The party's website ( says this group was re-founded in 2002 by Assyrians in northern Iraq. The party identifies itself as "socialist and democratic" with the aim of "resuscitating an Assyrian nation for Assyrian people in an independent and popular republic." "The Assyrian Socialist Party stands for socialism and democracy, fundamental change in this rotten capitalist and clerico-medieval system in the Middle East, and social democracy organized on democratic lines, where people are able to take control of their own lives," the website further claims.

Bayt al-Nahrayn Democratic Party. Small Assyrian party operating in KDP-controlled northern Iraq, this party is affiliated with the Assyrian National Congress. It is reportedly also on good terms with the KDP. Shimon Khamo is the party's secretary-general. Participated in the founding meeting of the Iraqi National Congress in Salah Al-Din in 1992. The party calls for an autonomous state for the Assyrians in Iraq. It operates Bet Nahrain Radio, broadcasting from Irbil. Website:

l-Da'wah Al-Islamiyah [Islamic Call] Party. Founded in 1957, the Al-Da'wah Party began contacts with the United States on 14 October 2002. Shi'a dominated party, although it claims some Sunni members. Initially established as a religious-political group to oppose communism in Iraq. Strongly influenced by Muhammad Baqr al-Sadr, who promoted an Islamic state -- meaning governed according to the tenets of Islamic law -- but not on the style of vilayat al-faqih, as in Iran. Many prominent Iraqi Shi'a participated in the party in its early years: Muhammad Bahr al-Ulum, Kazim Husayni al-Ha'iri, Muhsin al-Hakim, Mahdi al-Hakim. Al-Sadr left the party in the early 1960s. For years the main opposition party to Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party, the Al-Da'wah Party is now well positioned within Iraq's political sphere, with many members holding prominent government offices. Al-Da'wah was represented on the Iraqi Governing Council by its former London spokesman, Ibrahim Al-Ja'fari; the prominent cleric Muhammad Bakr Al-Nasri serves as the party's religious head.

Al-Fudala [Virtuous People] Society. A group opposed to the U.S. occupation, the Al-Fudala Society was reportedly founded in Al-Najaf in April 2003. According to Al-Basrah's "Al-Manarah," the group, which follows the line of the late Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr through founder Muhammad al-Ya'qubi (as opposed to al-Sadr's son Muqtada) "was founded on an advanced idea based on social work by Al-Hawzah with the aim of keeping up with current developments. It seeks to unify Islamic efforts and stands toward what is going on in Iraq in particular and the Islamic world in general." The party's spokesman is Shaykh As'ad Al-Nasiri. Baghdad's "Al-Mashriq" on 27 March quoted Al-Fudala representative Shaykh Yusuf al-Kinani as protesting a clause in the Transitional Administrative Law that effectively granted the Kurds the ability to veto a future constitution. Al-Kinani said: "The transitional period means that its laws are transitional. But making laws committing future governments to these transitional laws is completely rejected." He contended that Clause C "aims to nullify the opinion of the majority and impose the will of the minority," (see "RFE/RL Iraq Report," 2 April 2004). Media reports on Al-Fudala indicate that the group seeks to install Islamic law in Iraq through its active work (natiqah), allowing the hawzah to control all aspects of Iraqi political and social life. The group has reportedly compared the United States to the Antichrist.

Constitutional Monarchy Movement. Established in 1993 and headed by Sharif Ali bin Al-Husayn, a cousin to Iraq's last king, Faysal II. Sharif Ali was an active member of the Iraqi opposition prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom, participating in many meetings leading up to the war. Sharif Ali was not afforded a seat on the Iraqi Governing Council and has since repeatedly claimed that the council held no legitimacy.

Sharif Ali reportedly has close ties with Jordan's Prince Hasan. The group supports a constitutional monarchy with an elected government. The Constitutional Monarchy Movement (CMM) website ( states: "The CMM calls for constitutional legitimacy and a return to the situation as it was before being interrupted by the coup of 14 July 1958. That legitimacy was established by the only permanent constitution approved by the people in a general referendum in Iraq's history." The CMM supports the idea of "equal opportunities" for all Iraqis, regardless of their religion or ethnicity. Sharif Ali calls for the reinstatement of some Ba'ath Party technocrats to their positions, arguing that "the vast majority of them have had no part in the horrific crimes" perpetrated by the Hussein regime.

On the transfer of power from the U.S.-led coalition to the interim Iraqi government, Sharif Ali told broadcaster Al-Jazeera: "All indications show that the process of power transfer is fake. This process is a continuation of the occupation, but in a different form." He later told "Al-Manar al-Yawm" that his group would try to participate in the national conference in July 2004 to elect an interim legislature.

Council of Baghdad Notables. The Council of Baghdad Notables is not formally affiliated with any political organization or party; rather, it comprises a representative sampling from various segments within Iraqi society, according to its secretary-general, Shi'ite cleric Aqil al-Khatib. He told "Al-Dustur" in a February 2004 interview that his group is comprises three streams: tribal, academic, and clerical. He added that his group supports Shi'ite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani call for elections. Regarding federalism, the group supports whatever "the constitution decides." Al-Khatib said his group intends to put forth a candidate in national elections, adding: "We have personalities within our council who are qualified to join the government because they enjoy popular support."

The council held its first constituent congress on 2 January 2004 with 32 founding members. It formed 25 committees to coincide with the number of Iraqi ministries, with the intention of each committee to raise issues with the ministries to better meet the needs of the Iraqi people. It has viewed itself as a supervisory/advisory entity and intended to monitor the actions of the Governing Council.

Democratic Monarchy Alliance [Al-Tahaluf Al-Malaki Al-Dimuqrati]. The Democratic Monarchy Alliance (DMA) supports the resumption of a Hashemite monarchy in Iraq, with al-Sharif Ra'd bin Zayd as king. Ra'd is the only son of Zayd, who was the youngest brother of Iraq's King Faysal I. The party's secretary-general is Dr. Nabil al-Janabi. In a July 2002 interview with Al-Jazeera television, al-Janabi contended that people in Iraq were eager to see the monarchy restored, and appealed to the United States to do so, "as it returned [former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand] Aristide to his country." Al-Janabi claimed that Jordan's King Hussein supported a restoration of the monarchy in Iraq, and he cited several historical occurrences in European history in which the monarchy was restored, including in Italy, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria.

An ongoing rivalry exists with the Constitutional Monarchy Movement (CMM) headed by Sharif Ali bin al-Husayn, the cousin of King Faysal II.CMM politial officer Sadiq al-Musawi said in a statement to London's "Al-Hayat" published in July 2003 that the DMA is a tribal group that operates as an extension of the Jordanian intelligence service, adding that the head of Jordanian intelligence supervises DMA's affairs.

The group was highly critical of the Coalition Provisional Authority's governance of Iraq, as well as of the performance of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council. DMA head Nabil al-Janabi declared his intention to form a shadow government in Iraq in June 2003, Baghdad's "Al-Aswaq" reported. The group claimed in May 2003 that it was sending military recruits to Jordan to train for the Iraqi army. The DMA said in January 2004 that plans were under way to unite the Sunni and Shi'ite ulama in Iraq, "Al-Hayat" reported. The group has claimed to have the secret support of Jordan's Prince Hasan, but has also claimed to have no affiliation with the Hashemite monarchy in Jordan.

Al-Janabi said in a January 2004 interview with the Baghdad weekly "Al-Zawra" that the DMA supports the idea of federalism in Iraq saying: "Since 25 December 1995 we have proposed an administrative federalism of five provinces as follows: Al-Basrah, which includes a number of governorates, Central Al-Furat, Baghdad, Mosul, and the North. We gave Kirkuk autonomy for its special situation but it will be linked to the center." The DMA would not support federalism based along ethnic lines, he added. Al-Janabi voiced his opposition to the Transitional Administrative Law, calling it "illegitimate" in a 20 March 2004 interview with "Al-Zawra." He added: "If elections on the form of rule in Iraq are not held, the Democratic Monarchy alliance...will declare [a] monarchy from one side."

The DMA composes approximately 13 member groups, including Al-Adalah [Justice] Party, the Qasim Movement for Iraq, the Iraqi Ahrar [Liberals] Movement, and the National Democratic People's Party. It publishes the "Al-Rihab" newspaper.

National Democratic Party. Founded in the 1940s, this party announced its resumption of political activities in Iraq in February 2004. The party had ceased its political activity on 8 February 1963, the date that Abd al-Karim Qassim's government was overthrown in a Ba'athist coup. The party is led by Hudayb al-Hajj Mahmud and calls for "a federal, multiparty, unified, and democratic system" in Iraq, according to a statement it posted in "Al-Mada" in February. Nasir Kamil al-Chadirchi is also listed as a leader. His father, Kamil al- Chadirchi, led the original Democratic National Party. The party publishes the newspaper "Al-Ahali."

National Democratic Party. Founded in the 1940s, this party announced its resumption of political activities in Iraq in February 2004. The party had ceased its political activity on 8 February 1963, the date that Abd al-Karim Qassim's government was overthrown in a Ba'athist coup. The party is led by Hudayb al-Hajj Mahmud and calls for "a federal, multiparty, unified, and democratic system" in Iraq, according to a statement it posted in "Al-Mada" in February. Nasir Kamil al-Chadirchi is also listed as a leader. His father, Kamil al- Chadirchi, led the original Democratic National Party. The party publishes the newspaper "Al-Ahali."

Free Iraq Council. This party is headed by Sa'd Salih Jabr, a Shi'a Muslim and son of former Iraqi Prime Minister Salih Jabr. The younger dissolved his Umma Party (established in 1982) in 1991 to form the Free Iraq Council. He spent some 35 years in exile and holds U.S. citizenship, but has been somewhat critical of the U.S.-led administration of Iraq. His group attempted to execute a coup in 1992 but aborted the attempt after their plans were uncovered by Hussein's regime. Some 300 members, many of them Iraqi officers, were arrested, and an unknown number were executed by the regime.

Jabr told London's "Al-Sharq al-Awsat" in an August 2003 interview that he would not oppose a return of the monarchy to Iraq, but he said that such a decision would be left to the Iraqi people to determine through elections. He did not lend support to either of the monarchial contenders.

He told London's "Al-Hayat" in January 2004: "My efforts [in Iraq] will be focused on reuniting the Iraqis and resolving differences among the various parties through middle solutions." "My first target is achieving stability, particularly between the Sunnis and Shi'ites and among the Kurds, Arabs, and Turkomans, in order to provide services, create job opportunities, and revive the economy." Jabr supports a federal Iraq. Jabr claims to have no desire to run for political office. Jabr reportedly returned to Iraq in early 2004.

Free Iraqi Society Party. Founded on 20 April 2003, the Free Iraqi Society Party opposes the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq but supports the commencement of diplomatic relations between the two countries, provided these are conducted on equal footing. The party supports the return of a constitutional monarchy in Iraq and is led by Secretary-General Abd al-Muhsin Shalash. He told "Al-Furat" in an interview published on 14 February that his group hopes to pay an active role in rebuilding Iraqi society but added: "The Governing Council and the coalition forces keep their own counsel and refuse to allow any honest Iraqi person from inside the country to help build a new Iraq." He added that he does not support the occupation of Iraq but said, "We hope to establish strategic relations and friendship with the United States."

Asked his opinion on elections, Shalash said: "We favor holding elections and feel that the Iraqis should live through the experience of honest elections, now that they have tasted freedom. This will prevent the return of dictatorship. What we need is not simply to replace Saddam Hussein's regime with another. We need to change the way we act and the way we understand political matters to prevent the emergence of a new dictator." U.S. military forces reportedly detained Shalash in August 2003 in connection with remarks he purportedly made against the occupation at a party conference, "Al-Hayat" reported.

Muslim Ulama Council. Although initially conceived of as a religious entity, the Hayat Al-Ulama Al-Muslimin (Muslim Ulama Council) has ambitions as a secular authority, as well, intending to nominate one of its members as a candidate for the Iraqi presidency. However, the group is considered "too radical for the CPA to deal with comfortably as an organization representing the Sunni community," according to an article in Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) from 9 February 2004. Indeed, the group does not recognize the legitimacy of the U.S.-appointed Governing Council, and it has called for resistance at times.

The group is led by President Harith al-Dari, who believes that Iraq's government should be chosen solely through consultations with Iraqi representatives, effectively excluding the United States from any significant role, according to the same IWRP source. Al-Dari called the Iraqi interim government "a U.S.-produced charade played out by the U.S.-appointed IGC," "Al-Sa'ah reported on 9 June 2004. "Iraq is infected with several dangerous ailments, first of which is the occupation that wants to steal our land, funds, culture, and existence. The occupation also wants to steal our honor, as you heard from the scandal about what happened in its jails," he was also quoted as saying.

Free Democratic Homeland Party. London's "Al-Zaman" reported on 30 December 2003 that three political groups had merged to form the General Secretariat of the Free Democratic Homeland Party. The groups are the National Independence Party, led by Malik Duhan al-Hasan; the Arab National Democratic Movement, headed by Muhammad Husayn Ra'uf; and the Iraqi National Coalition, headed by Tawfiq al-Yasiri. The group publishes the newspaper "Al-Inbithaq" (The Awakening). The National Independence Party is a secular party led by Malik Duhan Al-Hasan, a former information minister and the current head of the Lawyers Union. Al-Hasan was appointed Iraqi justice minister in June 2004 by interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. The party publishes a newspaper, "Al-Balagh" (The Statement). The Iraqi National Coalition was established in March 2000 and includes several former military officers, including al-Yasiri, who once served as a brigadier in Saddam Hussein's army. The coalition reportedly participated in the 1991 uprising against the regime in southern Iraq. According to a January 2002 posting on its now-defunct website, the coalition describes itself as an organization "intended to coordinate its efforts with all Iraqi opponents of Hussein's regime." It adds that it "is not a substitute for political parties and groupings already established, but it is an attempt to maximize opposition efforts and effectiveness."

Free Officers and Civilians Movement. Established in 1996 and led by former Iraqi Brigadier General Najib al-Salihi, the movement primarily comprises former officers who stood opposed to the Hussein regime. Al-Salihi was an active member of the Iraqi opposition prior to his return to Iraq in 2003. He supported the establishment of the Iraqi Governing Council and has been outspoken in his advice to the U.S. military on issues regarding the establishment of the new Iraqi army and for the rights of enlisted soldiers. On the reinstatement of Ba'athists, al-Salihi has said: "Ba'athists are not all bad. On the contrary, the bad ones are small in number who can be brought to justice. Others, however, are citizens who can serve their country in a sound and positive way and contribute to the development process and to the reconstruction of Iraq in all fields."

Grouping of Free Iraqis. Reportedly established in 1978 and reemerged in October 2003. Led by Faris Kahrdi, the group supports the return of the monarchy to Iraq and "views the change that took place on 14 July 1958, which removed the monarchy, as the beginning of the deterioration of political life in Iraq," London's "Al-Hayat" reported in October 2003. Kahrdi told "Al-Hayat" that although his group supports the monarchy, it is not opposed to a Republican system of governance. He also calls for a constitution to guarantee the rights of all Iraqis. He said the constitution should be drafted by a board of clerics, intellectuals, and the judiciary, and that a free and fair referendum should be held to ratify the constitution. The group rejected the formation of the Iraqi Governing Council, apparently because the United Nations did not play a role in the construction of the council.

Higher Council for National Salvation. Officially established in August 2002 and headed by Wafiq Hamud al-Samarra'i, a former head of Iraqi military intelligence. Media reports indicate that former military chief of staff Nizar al-Khazraji might have also joined this group. Al-Samarra'i defected from Iraq in 1994 and was based in Damascus before moving to London in 1998. Al-Samarra'i helped plot an unsuccessful coup with the Iraqi National Congress in 1995. He was reportedly working with the U.S.-led coalition to hunt down Saddam Hussein in the months after Operation Iraqi Freedom. Reportedly the target of an assassination attempt in February 2004, he has taken a low profile in recent months. The group publishes the daily "Al-Inqadh" (The Salvation).

Independent Iraqi Democrats/Democratic Centrist Tendency. The Democratic Centrist Tendency was established in October 2000 in London. "Al-Hayat" reported that the opening congress of the group was attended by representatives of the Iraqi opposition in an apparent show of support, including: Muhammad Bahr-al-Ulum, Husayn al-Sadr, Hamad al-Bayati (SCIRI), Iyad al-Samarra'i (Iraqi Islamic Party), Fu'ad Ma'sum (PUK), Dilshad Miran (KDP), and Subhi al-Jamil (Iraqi Communist Party). Former Iraqi Governing Council member Mahdi al-Hafiz is vice president of the group; Ghassan al-Atiyyah is spokesman. The Independent Iraqi Democrats movement was formed in February 2003 by octogenarian and former Iraqi Foreign Minister Adnan Pachachi, who also played a founding role in the above-mentioned group. The Independent Iraqi Democrats officially rejected the U.S. administration of postwar Iraq, calling instead for the establishment of a provisional authority to administer the country in conjunction with the United Nations. Pachachi later joined the Iraqi Governing Council but was not afforded a role in the interim Iraqi government. The group publishes the daily "Al-Nahdah."

Iraqi Democratic Center Party. Rejecting foreign occupation of Iraq, the Iraqi Democratic Center Party calls for Iraqi political autonomy and for unity among Iraq's diverse population groups.

Iraqi Homeland Party. Established in Syria in 1995 by Mish'an al-Juburi. Saddam Hussein's son-in-law Husayn Kamil reportedly was involved in the plans to establish this party, Radio Monte Carlo reported in November 1995. Kamil instead returned to Iraq from asylum in Jordan, where he was promptly executed by the regime. Al-Jaburi did not have strong relations with the Iraqi opposition, except for the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).

Al-Jaburi participated in the London opposition conference in 2002, however, and subsequently took a place on the opposition's Follow-Up and Coordination Committee. Al-Jaburi told London's "Al-Hayat" in a February 2004 interview that he favored national elections but preferred they be held after a census or be based on UN ration cards. "We believe we need to make sure that no party or ethnic group has a majority in Iraq," he said. "The situation will become extremely dangerous in Iraq if a political group or sect is allowed to impose a fait accompli to achieve a majority."

Regarding Ba'athists, al-Jaburi called on the judiciary to reexamine the issue and said that Sunnis would not participate in national elections if the issue remained unresolved. In November 2003, he blamed CPA head L. Paul Bremer for the unstable security situation in Iraq because Bremer dissolved the security services.

Al-Juburi was alternatively billed in the media as the "coalition-appointed" and "self-appointed" governor of Mosul in the weeks following the toppling of the Hussein regime. The party publishes the weekly "Al-Ittijah al-Akhar."

Iraqi Islamic Forces Union. Reportedly formed by former members of SCIRI (see above) who split from that organization in 2002. It also reportedly contains various wings of the Al-Da'wah Party (see above also). Abu-Haydar al-Asadi is often cited as a member of the union's provisional leadership. "Al-Hayat" reported on July 2002 that the group rejected relations with the United States. Al-Asadi said in a statement to the daily: "Washington's main aim from this dialogue is to harm the credibility of the Iraqi Islamic opposition, exclude it from the masses, and isolate it at the Arab and Islamic levels." He added that the Iraqi people would not trust the United States, which abandoned Iraq during the 1991 uprising that followed the Gulf War. Al-Asadi instead advocated that the regime be toppled through an independent Iraqi resistance.

He also told "Al-Hayat": "The Iraqi Islamic Forces Union's vision of change is based on activating the resistance inside Iraq and making it the top priority so that jihad [military] action becomes the ultimate cover for all actions as a result of the dictatorial Iraqi regime's practices against the people."

Iraqi Islamic Party. Although ideologically similar to the Muslim Brotherhood, top officials within the Iraqi Islamic Party insist that no formal association exists between the two groups. The party was established in the late 1950s and operated clandestine armed groups and purportedly had at one time some 2,000 armed members. Representing a Sunni perspective, the party is led by Secretary-General Dr. Muhsin Abd-al-Hamid (who served on the Iraqi Governing Council) and by Assistant Secretary-General Iyad Al-Samarra'i. The group is amenable to a federalist system, wherein the Kurdish region of Iraq would enjoy a degree of autonomy. The party, which operates Dar al-Salam Radio, said in a 7 June 2004 broadcast that it supports the interim Iraqi government, despite not being afforded a position within the government.

Iraqi Justice and Development Party. Established in December 2003, "Al-Ittihad" described it as a "political, social, and civil party that calls for political participation within a federal Iraq." It reportedly supports religious and ideological freedom. The group also supports Arab and Islamic causes and calls for Islam to be the basic source of legislation in Iraq. Calls for equality among citizens to be upheld. It is not known whether it is related to Turkey's ruling party of the same name. According to a statement by the group, published in "Al-Ittihad," the party said it would not reject any form of governance that the Iraqi people chose. The party's statement further noted Iraq's "honorable national task" in serving Arab and Islamic causes, citing the "Palestinian cause and the Arab-Zionist conflict." The statement said Islam is the religion of Iraq and the basic source of the country's legislation. It called for the government to guarantee the right of equality for all Iraqis without discrimination and stated that the final arbiter of differences is the ballot box. The Iraqi Justice and Development Party also called for an independent military establishment, the revitalization of agriculture and livestock in Iraq, the protection of archaeological sites, and free education for everyone.

Iraqi National Alliance (INA). Primarily through its biweekly online journal "Nida'a Al-Muqawamah" (The Call for Resistance), the INA advocates armed resistance to the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. A pro-Ba'athist party, it is supportive of armed resistance to coalition forces in Iraq. Led by Abd al-Jabbar al-Kubaysi.

Iraqi National Congress (INC). Established in 1992 as an umbrella group bringing together diverse opposition elements including Kurdish, Islamist, and Arab nationalist groups, the group encountered difficulties in uniting the various factions at times. Initially launched by Kurdish personalities, some 170 Iraqi opposition figures participated the 1992 conference that established the INC in Salah Al-Din that elected a three-member presidential council for the INC: Shi'a cleric Muhammad Bahr al-Ulum; ex-Iraqi General Hasan Naqib; and Kurdistan Democratic Party head Mas'ud Barzani. Ahmad Chalabi was elected chair of the INC's executive council.

The INC took part in a failed coup attempt against the Hussein regime in 1996, after which Hussein's retaliated by attacking INC bases in the northern Iraq, killing 200 supporters and forcing thousands to flee. Chalabi lobbied endlessly from the mid-1990s in an effort to gain U.S. support for the overthrow of the regime. His group was first funded by the CIA and later by the Pentagon.

Chalabi entered Baghdad soon after Operation Iraqi Freedom and attempted to gain popular support among the Iraqi indigenous population. His 700-member Free Iraqi Forces militia, operating with the approval of the U.S. military, was dismantled by the coalition in May 2003 after its members were accused of burglary, harassment, and unauthorized detention of Iraqi citizens. Chalabi was afforded a seat on the Iraqi Governing Council but was not appointed to serve in the interim Iraqi government. The Pentagon eliminated a $340,000 monthly stipend to the INC in May 2004 just before allegations surfaced that Chalabi's group had passed sensitive U.S. intelligence to Iran, an allegation he has denied.

The INC publishes the newspaper "Al-Mu'tamar."

Iraqi National Forces Alliance. An alliance founded in 2002 among a number of Iraqi opposition groups, including the Iraqi Communist Party, the Al-Da'wah Party, and the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party -- Iraq Command, with the intention of overthrowing the Hussein regime without outside intervention. Alliance was thus opposed to possible U.S. intervention in Iraq in the months leading up to Operation Iraqi Freedom and did not participate in the preparatory meetings of the Iraqi opposition.

Other groups that joined the alliance in June 2002 are: the Group of Mujahidin Ulama in Iraq; the Islamic Party of Iraq; the Iraqi Tribes (Shaykh Takleef Muhammad al-Munshid and Shaykh Talib Harbi al-Muz'il); the Turkoman Islamic Union; the Socialist Party in Iraq; the Iraqi Democratic Grouping; the Turkoman Democratic Party; the Assyrian National Organization; and the Arab Socialist Movement.

Iraqi National Movement. Led by Hatim Mukhlis, the movement was established in 2001 and comprises former Sunni Muslim political and military leaders who split from the INC. Mukhlis told "Al-Zaman" in an October 2003 interview that his movement, which was founded in the United States, was supported by the U.S. Congress's Iraq Liberation Act. The movement supports Islam as the official state religion but calls for the respecting of all faiths in Iraq. The party does not support de-Ba'athification or the U.S. decision to dissolve the former Iraqi army.

Mukhlis is supportive of the U.S. presence in Iraq. London's "Al-Hayat" reported in March 2004 that Mukhlis criticized Kurdish demands for a federal system in Iraq, saying: "The issue of federalism is premature at present because Iraq has to go through several stages before obtaining independence and that the people are the ones who will determine the federalism and not the politicians."

Iraqi Officers Movement. This group was established in the United States by former Iraqi General Fawzi al-Shamri, who defected from Iraq in 1986. Al-Shamri was opposed to U.S. military intervention in Iraq in 2001-02, preferring that Iraqis depose Hussein but appeared to signal support for the U.S.-led war in the months preceding Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Iraqi National Rally (INR). The INR is headed by Secretary-General Dr. Husayn al-Juburi. Little information is available on the group. Al-Juburi is a former Republican Guard general who participated in a 1991 failed coup attempt against Hussein along with members of the Juburi tribe. He spent eight months in prison. Al-Juburi became the self-appointed and later U.S. appointed governor of mayor of Tikrit. AFP reported on 10 February 2004 that al-Juburi was relieved of his duties for "poor management." Al-Juburi was a staunch oppositionist to Hussein in the mid-1990s and signed his name to several letters written by opposition. He also was named in December 2002 to the opposition's Follow-Up and Coordination Committee. The weekly "Al-Safir" [The Ambassador] is affiliated with al-Juburi.

Iraqi Turkoman Birth Party. The Iraqi Turkoman Birth Party was founded in Al-Sulaymaniyah in 1999 to defend the rights of Turkomans in Iraq; it is led by Chairman Muwaffaq Muhammad Cevher Kuryali. In frequent conflict with the Turkoman Front, the Birth Party wants to represent the Turkoman population in the new Iraqi government. Kuryali accused the Turkish government and the Turkoman Front of trying to provoke tension in Mosul and Kirkuk in June 2004 and accused Turkey as being behind recent assassinations of democratic Turkomans in those cities. The Birth Party initiated a grouping of six Turkoman parties under the name Democratic Turkoman Front following Operation Iraqi Freedom

Turkoman National Association. Established in Irbil in November 2002, the association comprises five Turkoman political and cultural organizations: the Turkoman Cultural Association, Turkoman Brotherhood Party, Turkoman National Liberation Party, Iraqi Turkoman Union Party, and the Turkoman Democratic Party.

Iraqi Turkoman National Party. The Iraqi Turkoman National Party represents the interests of Iraq's Turkoman population and has proposed the appointment of a Turkoman vice president or deputy prime minister, in order to fairly address the political problems faced by Turkomans in Iraq. Formed through the consolidation of five Iraqi Turkmen political parties, the Iraqi Turkoman National Party is "widely believed by observers and accused by other Turkoman political parties to act on the behalf of Turkey with a view at undermining the Kurdish self-rule experience in Iraq," according to a report from the Iraqi Kurdistani Dispatch on 6 November 2003. Its deputy head is Jamal Shan; he has opposed the Transitional Administrative Law because it did not recognize Turkomani as an official language, which he claims constituted Turkomans as second-class citizens.

Iraqi Turkoman Democratic Party. Established in London in July 2002, the party is led by Ahmed Gunes.

Kurdistan Turkoman Democratic Party. Headed by Dilshad Chawushli.The party "cherishes a profound, deep-rooted feeling of our Turkoman nation's being a part of Kurdistan," Nafi Qassab, the deputy secretary-general of the party said in a report published in "Al-Ta'akhi" in April 2004. "Our Turkoman party and people stand today with the political Kurdistani leadership, the leader of the Kurdistani liberation struggle," he added. The party supports a federal system in Iraq. Along with other Kurdish and Turkoman groups, the party opposes any Turkish intervention in Iraq.

Turkoman Islamic Union. Established in 1991 and led by Abbas al-Bayati. Membership is reportedly mostly composed of Shi'a Turkomans. The group has good relations with the PUK. In September 2003, U.S.-led occupation forces raided the group's offices in Kirkuk, seizing weapons and arresting three members, Baghdad's "Al-Jaridah" reported. The group claimed that the raid was related to an internal fight among the union's members.

Turkoman People's Party. Led by Irfan Kirkukli, the group reportedly has good relations with the PUK and KDP. Kirkukli denied that Kurdish forces were persecuting Turkomans in April 2003, "Kurdistani Nuwe" reported. "Those who are saying that Turkomans are persecuted by the Kurds are simply lying. These attempts are similar to those of the Ba'ath regime, which has tried for years to cause enmity between Kurds and Turkomans in Kirkuk." In its founding statement, posted to, the group says: "We believe that our party is formed by an active group who foresee the future and who can produce the most favorable program in the future, having the support of a dedicated and believer base." The group calls for a central government with participation by all groups.

Iraqi Workers Communist Party. Established in July 1993 through a merger of communist groups, the party clashed with the KDP and PUK in northern Iraq in recent years and was officially deemed an illegal party. Is closely linked to the Iranian party of the same name. The group did not participate in the London conference in December 2002 and opposed the U.S.-led war in Iraq in addition to the coalition's presence in Iraq and the Governing Council, on the grounds that it was "imposed." In February 2004, Manama's "Akhbar al-Khalij" reported that the group joined other secular parties including the KDP and PUK in establishing a unified front "to restrain the religious trend" -- in an apparent reference to the appearance of Shi'a groups from southern Iraq. The group publishes the newspaper "Bopeshawa."

Islamic Task Organization. Established in Karbala in early 1960s by proponents of an Islamic government in Iraq. Leaders of the group include Shi'a clerics Hasan Shirazi and Muhammad Husayn Shirazi, as well as Muhammad Taqi al-Mudarrisi, who has been critical of the U.S.-led coalition at times and does not support the idea of a federal system in Iraq. He was quoted in "Al-Zaman" in June 2004 as saying: "We have affirmed the need to establish a national accord government to provide an appropriate security situation to hold free and fair elections." This group welcomed the formation of the interim government in June 2004 but criticized the composition of the government for not including enough representatives from the Islamic trend. The organization has very close relations with SCIRI. The group, like many Islamist parties, was somewhat critical of UN Security Council Resolution 1546, due to some paragraphs they claimed undermined Iraq's national sovereignty.

Jund Al-Islam. Shi'a political group established by dissident members of the Al-Da'wah Party in late 1969. Currently led by Sa'd Jawad Qandil, who has close ties with SCIRI. Qandil is sometimes cited in the media as being a representative. The group may have merged with SCIRI after the emergence of the terrorist group Jund Al-Islam (aka Ansar Al-Islam), which shares the same name but is unrelated.

Al-Sadr II Movement. Led by firebrand Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the movement has emerged as perhaps the most militant anti-American force in Iraq. Many members are young, disenfranchised Shi'a attracted by the cleric's charisma and firebrand style of preaching. Al-Sadr is the son of the late Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, who was gunned down, presumably by Saddam Hussein's men, along with Muqtada's two brothers, in 1999. Fiercely nationalist, al-Sadr's military wing, the Imam Al-Mahdi Army, has actively resisted U.S.-led occupation efforts; various tallies have put its numbers as several-thousand strong, although exact figures are presently unavailable. The Mahdi Army's mouthpiece is the "Ansar Al-Mahdi" newspaper, which is edited by Ahmad Al-Mutayri.

Movement for Sacred National Defense. Established in 1993. The group's website ( says that the group was formed by "revolutionaries" who escaped from southern Iraq following the 1991 uprising.

Movement of the Rebellious Iraqi People. A nationalist movement established in 1991 and led by Secretary-General Uday Hatim Al-Urs and Deputy Secretary-General Yasin Muzhir Al-Hasimi. In a "political statement" issued by the movement in Al-Basrah's "Al-Nahdah" in October 2003, the movement described itself as an independent political movement that is not affiliated with any foreign party. "Our objectives are to achieve the hopes of our great people in freedom, democracy, and equality and create an atmosphere of freedom, progress, prosperity, and happiness for the entire Iraqi people from north to south. We work with all the honorable national forces to build a free, strong, and independent Iraq. We are serious about drafting a constitution in harmony with the inherent beliefs of all the Iraqi people across the homeland," the statement read in part.

Muslim Ulema Council. Secretary-General Sheikh Harith Sulayman al-Dari founded the Muslim Ulema Council shortly after the beginning of the U.S. occupation of Iraq in order to fill a perceived political, social, and religious void. Ostensibly open to Shi'a as well as Sunnis (although currently composed only of Sunnis) and comprising both Arabs and Kurds, the council seeks to represent all currents of Islam. The council rejects the legitimacy of U.S. authority in Iraq, declaring that it will not recognize the validity of U.S.-run national elections and supporting armed resistance, although the group claims not to engage in -- or incite -- resistance itself. The council joined the Constituent National Iraqi Conference for Resisting the Occupation in May 2004. The conference aim was to unite national and Islamic forces to declare their opposition to the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. Al-Dari told Al-Jazeera television that some 30 groups participated in the conference. "Al-Quds al-Arabi" reported that the conference urged Iraqis to refuse to participate in any political establishments formed under the occupation's umbrella. The group also called for Shari'a law to stand as the chief source of legislation in Iraq. The conference named Shaykh Jawad al-Khalisi as its secretary-general and Wamid Umar Nazmi as its spokesman.

National Unity Movement for Reform. The anti-federalist National Unity Movement for Reform was established in October 2003 and is presided over by Secretary-General Adil Ibadi; "Jamawar" reported Ibadi as saying the same month that 15 tribal chiefs belong to his group, as well as an unnamed number of independent figures. Asked about opinion of the Iraqi Governing Council, Ibadi said that his group viewed the council with suspicion. The group claims to be "an indivisible part of the Arab Nation," "Jamawar" reported.

Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). The PUK is headed by Jalal Talabani. Talabani formed the group in 1975 after leaving the Kurdistan Democratic Party. Based in Al-Sulaymaniyah, the PUK controls the eastern portion of northern Iraq and has set up a Kurdish parliament, headed by Prime Minister Barham Salih, who now serves as deputy prime minister for national security in the interim Iraqi government. Reportedly received support from Syria and Libya in its early years, and possibly Iran. The PUK joined the Iraqi opposition supported by the U.S. government in the 1990s. Talabani held a seat of the U.S.-installed Iraqi Governing Council. The PUK has undertaken efforts to unite its administration of eastern Kurdistan with the KDP-controlled government in the western area of northern Iraq, but critics say that neither party has any intention of seriously unifying their governments. The groups are allied however, in their quest for autonomy in the new Iraqi system. Latif Rashid and Fu'ad Ma'sum are other prominent members of the PUK. The PUK publishes the newspaper "Al-Ittihad."

Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). Founded in 1945 by Mullah Mustafa Barzani, the party has been led by his son, Mas'ud Barzani, since 1979. The group has held alliances with Syria, Turkey, and Iran at times, most notably aligning with Turkey in the 1990s to combat the Kurdish-Turkish opposition force PKK, which was based in PUK-controlled areas. Relations deteriorated in 2002 over a number of issues, including the KDP's claims over the oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk. Turkey has claimed at times, a legal right to Kirkuk, and has continuously regarded the city as a Turkoman city. The KDP joined the Iraqi National Congress and was an active member of the Iraqi opposition that supported the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. KDP (and PUK) peshmerga forces participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Barzani was assigned a position on the Iraqi Governing Council. Like Talabani, he has actively called for the establishment of a federal system in Iraq that would grant autonomy to the Kurds. This stance has further strained KDP-Turkish relations, but both Barzani and Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul have taken steps to resolve the issue. The KDP publishes the newspaper "Al-Ta'akhi."

Kurdistan Revolutionary Hizballah. Led by Adham Barzani, a relative of KDP leader Mas'ud Barzani. Reportedly has close relations with the latter's group. Kurdistan Revolutionary Hizballah reportedly was established in 1988 as a splinter group from Kurdish Hizballah, which merged with SCIRI. The group received funding from Iran in the late 1990s. It is not clear whether that affiliation remains.

Kurdistan National Democratic Union. Led by Ghafur Makhmuri, the union was once aligned with the Turkish-Kurdish terrorist group PKK. The group has since aligned itself with the KDP and has signed on to joint statements by other northern Iraqi groups criticizing the terrorist activities of the PKK. The union opposed possible Turkish military intervention in Iraq in March 2003. It also condemned terrorist groups Ansar Al-Islam, Al-Qaeda, and Wahhabi Islamists for their purported activities in Iraq in October 2003, Baghdad's "Al-Shira" reported.

Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). Founded in 1982 and arguably the largest Shi'ite political group in Iraq. Led by Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim until his assassination in August 2003 (see "RFE/RL Iraq Report," 5 September 2003). SCIRI is now led by Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim, who served on the Iraqi Governing Council. The Badr Brigades, SCIRI's armed wing, was formed in 1983 and headed by Hadi al-Amiri. It claimed to have 10,000 members inside Iraq at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The group welcomed UN Security Council Resolution 1546 and the formation of the Iraqi interim government. Recent Arab media reports put SCIRI at odds with Al-Sadr II leader Muqtada al-Sadr for his militia's activities. Turkoman Front. The Turkoman Front was founded in 1994 and is popularly perceived as campaigning for the interests of Turkey in Iraq. The group repeatedly issues statements complaining that it has not been allowed a voice in the new Iraqi government. It criticized the naming of Sungul Chabuk as Turkoman representative in the Iraqi Governing Council.

Turkomaneli Party. The Turkomaneli Party has proposed the expansion of the Governing Council to 100 members, to the effect of enhanced Turkoman proportional representation, as per the census of 1957 (which, presumably, accorded Turkomans greater demographic strength than a current census might). This group was critical of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. The party does not support federalism.

United Iraqi Scholars Group. Established in 2004, the group stands opposed to the occupation of Iraq. The group has vowed to boycott any political group set up by the United States, preferring instead to deal with the United Nations. The group is led by Sheikh Jawad al-Khalisi, a senior Shi'a cleric who advocated peaceful resistance to the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. He did not support the Transitional Administrative Law in Iraq, and told Al-Jazeera in June 2004 that UN Security Council Resolution 1546 was "shrouded in much vagueness." Al-Khalisi formerly led a group called the Islamic Movement in Iraq.

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