Tariq Aziz, who was foreign minister of Iraq under Saddam Hussein, has died in prison, Iraqi officials said on Friday. He was 79. Diane Hodges reports.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3 These were the glory days for Tariz Aziz. As Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq under President Saddam Hussein, he met with some of the most powerful men in the world.. And spoke to heads of state from around the globe at the General Assembly of the United Nations. Known for his black-rimmed glasses (and cigars,) he was one of Saddam's oldest political allies and stauchest defenders, traveling the globe in his efforts to win western support for Iraq's war against Iran in the 1980's. He succeeded in that mission, but was less successful in his next two missions....preventing war with the West in 1991 and in 2003. Aziz gave himself up to U.S. forces just two weeks after a U.S.-led coalition drove Saddam from power. He was later sentenced to death for his role in the persecution of Islamic parties during his time in power, but the execution order was never carried out. Instead, he spent the rest of his life in a prison in ever- declining health and died of a heart attack on Friday, providing a final break with a regime that ruled the country for four decades.