Saddam Faked Nukes to Scare Iran, Not US: Agent

Did not believe US would invade over weapons of mass destruction
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2008 5:18 AM CST
Downfall: a statue of Saddam Hussein is pulled down by U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians in downtown Baghdad, April 9, 2003 (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Saddam Hussein revealed in FBI interrogations that he had no nuclear or biological weapons of mass destruction, but hid that fact to avoid invasion by Iran—and was stunned when the US invaded. "For him, it was critical that he was seen as the strong, defiant Saddam to prevent the Iranians from reinvading Iraq," an FBI agent tells "60 Minutes" in an interview to be broadcast Sunday.

Saddam believed the US would launch an aerial assault, not invade, as in a previous four-day attack by America in 1998. "He survived that one and he was willing to accept that type of attack," the agent reveals. "He told me he miscalculated." The Lebanese-American agent posed as an envoy answering to President Bush as he developed a relationship with the Iraqi leader and spent seven months quizzing Saddam.