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UPDATED: 18:21, December 30, 2006
Iran says Saddam's execution amounts to "victory of the Iraqis"
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Iran said on Saturday that the execution of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein amounts to a "victory of the Iraqis", while warning that his hanging could cause more insecurity in the violence-torn country.

"With regard to Saddam's execution, it amounts to a victory of the Iraqi people as they were the winners of his fall," Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hamid Reza Asefi was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying.

"Saddam's regime was overthrown because the Iraqi people did not support him. It is crystal clear that the United States should not misinterpret his fall and take the credit to itself," he said.

Asefi also lashed out at the former Iraqi president for launching consecutive wars on Iran and Kuwait in the 1980s and early 1990s, saying his conducts had weakened the Arab and Islamic fronts.

"War on Iran led to a split in the Islamic world and serious problems with respect to unity among Muslims," he said, adding that the war on Kuwait dealt another blow on the Arab world and further deepened discord among Arabs.

"When the Arab and Islamic fronts were weakened, the Zionist regime took the most advantage (of the situation). This left the Palestinians in the worst situation," the Iranian deputy foreign minister said.

"On internal affairs, Saddam put massacre of Shiites on his agenda. In a broader dimension, he masterminded plans for killing Kurds and sowing discord between Shiites and Sunnis," Asefi said.

But he also claimed that Saddam's case was closed quickly in a bid to cover up Washington's support for the former Iraqi regime in the 1980s.

"Saddam's case was closed soon. If the cases of wars on Iran and Kuwait had been also examined, the U.S. alliance and role would have been disclosed," Asefi said.

"So, Washington tried to end the case with the investigation into Saddam's crimes in Dujail," he added.

The Iranian official also warned that Saddam's execution could lead to an upsurge of insecurity in Iraq in the short term.

"Arrest of Saddam escalated insecurity. It is predictable that his execution will cause more insecurity for a short period of time," Asefi was quoted as saying.

Just few hours after the Iraqi government executed Saddam by hanging early Saturday, at least 30 people were killed and more than 45 others wounded when a car bomb went off at a busy market in the Shiite city of Kufa in southern Iraq.

Source: Xinhua

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