Iraqi President Saddam Hussein saidon Friday the hostage-taking in Moscow by Chechen rebels would eventually benefit the United States and Israel in undermining Islam.
"It's not wise for the Chechens to lose the sympathy of Russia and the Russian people," Saddam said in a statement read on Iraqi state television.
"This will provide Zionism and America with a chance to undermine Islam and Muslims," the Iraqi leader said in the statement addressed to "Muslims all over the world and Chechens in particular."
"The tyrant of our era is Zionism and America, and not Russia, China or India," he added.
The Moscow hostage crisis comes into the third day since about 40 hostage-takers burst into a Moscow theater on Wednesday evening and took some 700 people hostage, demanding an end to the Chechen war.
Saddam's appeal came as the UN Security Council resumed consultations Friday on a US draft resolution seeking a tougher inspection regime on Iraq's suspected weapons of mass destruction.
The United States, backed by its closest ally Britain, has been engaged in a joint diplomatic offensive to push through a new UN Security Council resolution which will "automate" the use of force in the event of Iraqi noncompliance.
But Russia, Iraq's main supporter in the UN Security Council, has voiced its opposition to the automatic authorization of the useof force.