A US attack on the Arabs and Muslims is doomed to failure, President Saddam Hussein said today in an address to his nation, as fears mount that Washington will declare war on Iraq.
"All empires and evil coffin-bearers have been buried with their sick dreams when they have sought to harm Arab and Muslim nations," he said.
"This inevitable result awaits all those who try to attack the Arabs and Muslims," he added in a speech broadcast on state television to mark the 14th anniversary of the end of the Iran-Iraq war, which raged between 1980 and 1988.
Iraqi women fighters march during a military parade to mark the anniversary of
the end of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war in Baghdad August 8, 2002. Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein said on Thursday he was not frightened by U.S. threats to topple
his administration and his country was ready to repel any attack. (Faleh Kheiber/Reuters)
"Darkness shall be defeated," vowed Saddam dressed in a black suit and grey tie. "The forces of evil will carry their coffins on their back to die in a disgraceful failure."
Saddam called on the United Nations to honour its commitments to Iraq and to answer its questions, notably on sanctions. "The right way is that the Security Council should reply to the questions raised by Iraq and should honour its obligations under its own resolutions," he said.
In three rounds of negotiation this year between Iraq and the United Nations, focused on the resumption of disarmament inspections, Baghdad has submitted a series of questions, notably on the lifting of the sanctions regime.
The world body imposed the embargo on Iraq after it invaded Kuwait in August 1990. The 20-minute speech, littered with invocations to Allah (God) and abstract historical lessons, recalled the Iraqi "victory" over Iran.
Iraq celebrates August 8 as the day of "victory" in the war that officially ended with a UN-brokered ceasefire on August 20, 1988. President Bush promised yesterday to consult US friends and allies as he explores all options on how to overthrow Saddam.
Copyright 2002 AFP