- By Brian FungBrian Fung is an editorial researcher at FP.
Hussein continued the dialogue on the issues relating to the significant threat to Iraq from Iran. Even though Hussein claimed iraq did not have WMD, the threat from Iran was the major factor as to why he did not allow the return of the UN inspectors. Hussein stated he was more concerned about Iran discovering Iraq’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities than the repercussions o the United States for his refusal to allow UN inspectors back into Iraq. In his opinion, the UN inspectors would have directly identified to the Iranians where to inflict maximum damage to Iarq. Hussein demonstrated this by pointing at his arm and stated striking someone on the forearm would not have th same effect as striking someone on the elbow or wrist, which would significantly disable the ability to use the arm. Hussein indicated he was angered when the United States struck Iraq in 1998. Hussein stated Iraq could have absorbed another United States strike for he viewed this as less of a threat than exposing themselves to Iran."
Hussein on a potential peace agreement with the United States:
Hussein recognized that Iran continued to develop its weapons capabilities, to include its WMD, while Iraq had lost its weapons capabilities due to the UN inspections and sanctions. Hussein was asked how Iraq would have dealt with the threat from Iran once the UN sanctions were lifted. Hussein replied Iraq would have been extremely vulnerable to an attack from Iran, and would have sought a security agreement with the United States to protect it from threats in the region. Hussein felt such an agreement would not only have benefitted Iraq, but its neighbors, such as saudi Arabia. SSA Piro [the interviewing FBI agent] agreed that such an agreement would have assisted iraq immensely. SSA Piro noted due to the histry between the two countries, it would have taken some time before the United States would have entered into such an agreement with Iraq."
Hussein acknowledges he’s accountable for the actions of his subordinates:
SSA Piro informed Hussein that he had surrounded himself with weak individuals, who are now refusing to take responsibility for the actions of the former government. The other High Value Detainees were putting the blame for all of Iraq’s mistakes on Hussein, to which Hussein replied by saying what could he do. Hussein recognizes that he may bear the responsibility or blame while others will attempt to distance themselves."