Presdient Saddam Hussein of Iraq accused the United States today of supporting Iran's "agression" against Iraq and vowed to resist by continuing to wage a "ferocious war."
In what some Western observers viewed as the strongest condemnation at this level of alleged U.S. support for Iran, Saddam Hussein linked his attack to American backing of Israel's "aims to liquidate the rights of the Palestinian people." But he did not specify how the United States was supporting Iran in the war.
In a message sent today to a U.N. committee on Palestinians. Saddam Hussein called for "futher struggles and sacrifices" in the Arab world on behalf of Palestinians.
He then added:
"We here in Iraq are suffering now a similar problem as we were compelled to wage a ferocious war with a neighboring state, with which we always hoped to see our relations based on mutual respect and nonignorance of rights. Once again we find the United States of America supporting this state that practiced aggression on our land and people for two years . . . that made us defend our rights and security and the safety of our citizens."
He said the United States "made itself an associate of the usurpist Zionist entity" [Israel] with the Camp David accords, and that "these accords are imposing on the Arab nation an abnormal situation that we will resist with all our powers."
Western diplomatic sources noted that high-level Iraqi attacks on alleged U.S. backing of Iran had dropped off since a wave of speculation just before the November presidential election that the White House intended to trade arms shipments to Iran for a quick agreement on release of the 52 American hostages.
Observers said the Iraqi government had seemed reassured that the United States had no plans to offer any new arms-supply relationship to Iran. This belief, coupled with a heightened U.S. awareness of Iraq's place in the world brought on by the gulf conflict, had led to a slight improvement in U.S. Iraqi relations, they added.
An Iraqi government source tonight said Saddam Hussein's statement to the U.N. committee appeared to be designed to dramatize the Palestinian issue, and does not necessarily reflect a substantial shift in the Iraqi leader's stance on the United States.
The ruling Arab Baath Socialist Party, meanwhile, escalated its attacks on President Hafez Assad of Syria, accusing him of playing a "treacherous role in implementing imperialist plans against the Arab nations." The attacks followed Syria's deployment of troops on its border with Jordan, which is in the forefront of supporting Iraq in the gulf war.