LONDON — Saddam Hussein's leading lieutenant accused the United States of abandoning Iraq and leaving the country to die, according to a British newspaper interview to be published Friday.
Tariq Aziz, whose long tenure as Saddam's foreign minister made him the international face of the Iraqi dictator's regime, was quoted by The Guardian newspaper a saying that he was hopeful about President Barack Obama at first.
"I thought he was going to correct some of the mistakes of Bush," the paper quoted Aziz as saying from his jail cell in north Baghdad. "But Obama is a hypocrite. He is leaving Iraq to the wolves."
The Guardian said that Aziz slammed the planned withdrawal of US forces from the country, saying that both it and the United Kingdom had an obligation to make sure Iraq was back on its feet before exiting.
"We are all victims of America and Britain," Aziz said, according to the paper. "They killed our country in many ways. When you make a mistake you need to correct a mistake, not leave Iraq to its death."