Cablegate: Jordan's Islamists Demand Goj Cut Ties to Iig

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. AMMAN 07752
B. AMMAN 09278


1. (U) Combat in Fallujah has prompted Jordan's Islamic
Action Front to step up its public rhetoric against the U.S.
effort in Iraq, this time calling on the Jordanian government
to sever its ties to the Iraqi Interim Government. The GOJ
publicly expressed concern that the security situation would
negatively impact the Iraq elections. Meanwhile, FM Mulki
said he expected some insurgents might try to flee to Jordan.
The IAF's demands will not have an impact on the GOJ's
support for the Iraqi leadership, but the message resonates
with ordinary Jordanians incensed by the perceived U.S.
"assault" on Fallujah. End Summary.


2. (U) In a letter to the Prime Minister carried in local
press on November 21, the political arm of Jordan's Muslim
Brotherhood, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), demanded that
the GOJ cease all contact with the Iraqi Interim Government
(IIG). According to IAF Secretary General Hamza Mansour, it
is incumbent on the GOJ to protest "the U.S. war of
extermination and destruction in al-Fallujah, which is taking
place with the blessings of the interim government." He
described the IIG "as hostile to the Iraqi people and
clashing with the feelings of the Jordanian people and the
Arab and Muslim nation," adding that "maintaining contacts
with this government means supporting its policy and
bestowing legitimacy on its crimes."

3. (U) The IAF's anti-U.S. rhetoric was particularly
strong: "The destruction of al-Fallujah by the Bush
administration is a crime of war and the Nazis were tried and
executed for perpetrating similar crimes." In a veiled
reference to the GOJ, the IAF called on Arab countries "that
cover up for these crimes" to "realize the seriousness of
what is taking place."

4. (U) The IAF's diatribe is the latest in an increasingly
virulent string of verbal attacks on U.S. regional policies,
and increasingly on the Jordanian government, for supporting
them. In April, the IAF's Scholars Committee issued a
"fatwa" demanding followers "oppose" the U.S. administration
for its "aggression against the Palestinian and Iraqi
people." Several months later, the same committee issued a
fatwa declaring that joining the Iraqi military or police was
a "sin against God," as was providing food or supplies to
American forces in Iraq, and called for "jihad" in Iraq (ref
a). In October, the IAF again urged Iraqi clerics to lead
the Iraqi people to rid their "of the filth of the
occupation" through jihad.


5. (U) GOJ spokesperson Asma Khader did not comment on the
IAF statement during her regular press conference, but she
did express the government's concern about the poor security
situation and its potential negative impact on elections
scheduled for January. Foreign Minister Mulki is attending
the Sharm al-Sheikh meeting on Iraq, and coming to consensus
on ways to improve the security situation is a major priority
for the Jordanians.

6. (U) Meanwhile, in response to press remarks by Iraqi
Foreign Minister Zebari on November 22 that some of the
insurgents may have escaped the Fallujah operation and found
refuge in Jordan or Syria, FM Mulki told reporters that he
was not aware that any had entered Jordan, but expected that
some would try. "When you attack a bees' nest, the bees try
to get everywhere. Any explosion in Iraq will allow people
to flee to neighboring countries and this will bring unrest,
that is why we have a vested interest in making sure that
things settle down," he said.


7. (SBU) The IAF's letter will not alter the GOJ's support
for the IIG. However, the IAF's statements resonate with
ordinary Jordanians, riveted and angered by images of
violence from Fallujah in recent weeks. The recent broadcast
of video depicting a U.S. solider killing a wounded Iraqi in
a mosque in particular seems to have struck a nerve, and
local press commentary on the Fallujah situation has been
particularly harsh (ref b). During a lecture on American
foreign policy and the U.S. election at Muta University in
the southern Jordanian town of Karak, a student declared to
PAO: "You have no idea how delighted we are to see American
soldiers being killed in Iraq, and we are hoping for American
defeat and expulsion there." With that, the audience of more
than 300 students erupted into raucous applause.

8. (U) Baghdad minimize considered.

Please visit Embassy Amman's classified web site at
http://www.state.sgov/p/nea/amman/ or access the site through
the Department of State's SIPRNET home page.

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