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Saddam Hussein believed Iran was a significant threat to Iraq and left open the possibility that he had weapons of mass destruction rather than appear vulnerable, according to declassified FBI documents on interrogations of the former Iraqi leader.
The FBI reports, released on Wednesday, said Saddam asserted that he was more concerned about Iran discovering Iraq's weaknesses and vulnerabilities than the repercussions of the United States for blocking the return of UN weapons inspectors who were searching for WMD.
"In his opinion, the UN inspectors would have directly identified to the Iranians where to inflict maximum damage to Iraq," according to the documents obtained and released by the National Security Archive, a nongovernmental research institute.
Saddam, identified as "High Value Detainee #1," shared Bush's hostility toward the "fanatic" Iranian mullahs, according to the FBI records of conversations from February through June 2004 between Saddam and Arabic-speaking agents in his detention cell at Baghdad International Airport.
Saddam also denied any connections to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who he called a "zealot," and cited North Korea as his most likely ally in a crunch, according to the documents.