Saddam-era UN envoy: Iran ‘joined’ US in war against Iraq
Iraq’s former envoy to the UN also described Baghdad’s invasion of Kuwait as an erroneous decision
Iraq’s former representative to the UN told Al Arabiya News Channel this week that Iran had a role in the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Iran, which had lasting hostilities with Iraq and its President Saddam Hussein due to a devastating eight-year conflict in the 1980s, was “not just pushing [the US], but participating in the war,” said Mohammed A. al-Douri, who was Iraq’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2001 to 2003.
Douri’s full account on Iran’s role in the 2003 conflict, which killed tens of thousands, will be broadcasted on the fourth episode of the channel’s weekly Political Memoir series.
In the first episode of the series, which aired Friday, Douri said that the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s was “an attempt, in its depth, to topple this state [Iraq] which had become an influential country in its regional environment.”
“I firstly mean the Arab environment and secondly the regional environment, and even at the international level,” he added.
He also blamed Iran for starting the eight-year war, which began on Sep. 22, 1980 and ended on Aug. 20, 1988.
“The downing of the [Iranian] aircraft and the capture of the pilot happened way before the date of the start of the Iran-Iraq war,” he said.
On Sept. 17, 1980, Iraq downed an Iranian F-5 fighter jet belonging to the the Islamic republic’s air force near the capital Baghdad. The pilot named Hussain Ali Riadha Lashkari survived the incident and he was arrested.
On Sep. 23, 1980, an Ilyushin 76 cargo aircraft flying from Paris to Baghdad, also crashed as it was approaching Saddam International Airport. It is believed the aircraft was shot down by Iranian fighter jets and all of its crew members died.
He added: “There is evidence that Iran was eager to ignite that war with Iraq.”
However, he dubbed the case being “different” regarding Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990, which triggered the first Gulf war, where he deemed the decision as being erroneous.
“I do not deny that there was monopoly on the decision-making process in Iraq,” he said. “I also do not deny that some of those decisions were completely wrong.”
Douri also gave some insight into the inner workings of Saddam’s regime. Instead of meeting directly with the dictator, orders would trickle down through Tariq Aziz, the Deputy Prime Minister and former top diplomat.
“Aziz was in charge of external and international documents, and it is natural that he was directly in touch with the president,” he said.
The former diplomat also talked about what he called “the game” played against oil-rich Iraq, which began when the country’s key industry was nationalized in the 1960s, he said.
“I think that it was a very hard slap given to those [Western] companies.”
See the full interview of the first episode HERE
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