“In light of the absence of Iraq's real and legitimate authority, Iran deemed the state free for the taking,” Raghad Saddam Hussein, the eldest daughter of the late Iraqi leader told Al Arabiya in an exclusive interview, indicating she might vie for a role in Iraqi politics in the future.
“To Iranians, Iraq is up for grabs. In light of the absence of the state's real and legitimate authority, they deemed the state free for the taking. To them, the state turned into an easy target in which they can do whatever they please, whichever way they see fit. There is no real deterrent,” she told Al Arabiya during an exclusive interview in Amman where she is not based.
“Based on my own conviction, when the deterrent becomes real, the high-ranking officials, the decision-makers, whoever they were, when they put their mind to ending this interference, they can do that,” she added.
In the first part of a multi-series interview with Hussein, the daughter of late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein said the topic of “dividing Iraq has become one of the options on the political scene," stressing that "each stage has its requirements except for dividing the homeland.”
She also considered that the time of her father’s rule was a “glorious time for Iraq” but also acknowledged that it had been treated harshly in certain cases.
“When your president is Saddam Hussein, you have to choose between prosperity and freedom,” she told Al Arabiya’s Senior Presenter Sohaib Charair.
When asked by Charair about her assuming political positions in Iraq in the near future, she responded by saying that “everything is possible, and all proposals are present.”
Raghad Saddam Hussein has been a polarizing figure in her homeland. In 2018, Iraqi authorities had named her on top of the country’s most-wanted list. At the time, she had said she would vow to confront all those who “insult her” by suing them back. Iraqi security services at the time had published the names of 60 people wanted on suspicion of belonging to ISIS, al-Qaeda, or the Baath Party of late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Following the invasion of Iraq by the United States and the eventual capture, arrest, and execution of her father, Raghad described that time as the most difficult part of her life. At first, she had fled to Syria and then eventually settled in Jordan where she remains until today with her family.
“During that time, I spent three years defending my father, almost exactly. It wasn't easy at all. When the invasion first started, we were trying to adjust to the circumstances, post the invasion. I was also trying to handle my father's case which wasn't easy. President Saddam was an exceptional character. He was a head of state, first and foremost, but he was also an exceptional man, a man of stature and prestige.