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War isn't over, says former Iraqi ambassador

Aldouri: United States must not act as colonial power

Mohammed Aldouri:
Mohammed Aldouri: "I did my best to defend the interests of my country."

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- Iraq's former U.N. ambassador said Monday that the war in Iraq is not yet over because the United States still must show that it came "as liberator and not as invader."

"I did my best to defend the interests of my country," Mohammed Aldouri said. "Right now, I see my country has been colonized, has been controlled by a foreign power -- that means the United States and Britain. That means not only me, but all Iraqi people are not happy with that."

Although Bush administration officials have promised to establish a democratic government in Iraq, Aldouri told CNN, "We are not sure that our independence and our sovereignty are assured."

The government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein collapsed April 9 as U.S. troops advanced toward Baghdad. Aldouri announced that he was leaving his post at the United Nations on April 11, the same day the White House declared the Iraqi regime "gone."

About 140,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq, attempting to restore order and services to Baghdad and other cities. Two U.S. soldiers were killed and at least four others wounded Monday in two attacks on American forces in Iraq. (Full story)

"We are waiting," Aldouri said. "Promises were done by the United States that they were coming to Iraq as liberator and not as invader. So we hope they would leave the country as soon as possible.

"But in a very short time, if they will stay, they would face a lot of problems, of course, because the Iraqi people will not accept any kind of invasion."

Aldouri was the public face of Saddam's government during much of the debate over U.N. weapons inspections that preceded the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq on March 20.

The United States and Britain accused Baghdad of concealing stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons from U.N. inspectors, and violating the cease-fire that ended the Persian Gulf War in 1991. So far, no such stockpiles have been found, though U.S. troops have seized two trailers that experts believe were mobile biological weapons laboratories.

Aldouri would not answer questions about whether he supported Saddam or what became of the Iraqi leader after he was forced from power. He said Saddam's removal could turn out to be good for Iraq if it leads to democracy and economic development -- but "there is nothing of that happening.

"The regime is over now. We are now facing colonial subjugation," he said.

Aldouri appeared on Dubai-based Al Arabiya television after the war and plans to hold a series of live interviews and call-in sessions on the network.

"Hopefully, one day I will return back to my country, to my family," he told CNN. "And yes, I will be back very soon, hopefully."

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