UNITED NATIONS — Iraq's United Nations Ambassador Hamid al-Bayati admits that help from Iran played a key role in calming insurgent activity in and around Baghdad.
"Yes, they have been helpful. It has been a combination of the American surge and Iranian cooperation that has led to a decrease in attacks," explained al-Bayati in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.
Al-Bayati confirmed recent reports from the region that the Iranian government has indeed clamped down on insurgent infiltration activity at the Iraqi border.
The Iraqi also explained that Baghdad will host a fourth round of U.S.-Iran diplomatic "consultations" next week.
Speaking on Iran, the ambassador expressed "concern" over the latest U.S. intelligence report and explained that Baghdad will likely speed up the creation of its own network and decrease dependence on Washington in such matters.
The ambassador was also asked about Saddam's former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, but he was not able to shed any light on Aziz who has remained in prison since he surrendered to coalition forces in May 2003.
The glass bespeckled, cigar smoking Iraqi was often seen in the West as the representative of Saddam and his campaign against U.N. sanctions and the United States.
"It is up for the Iraqi courts to decide what to do with him. He was a central member of the Revolutionary Command Council and the courts wanted all its members to be held accountable."
Aziz has remained in limbo since his surrender, only having periodic telephone contact with family members in Jordan and London.
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