Tariq Aziz

Aziz in 2001 Tariq Aziz ( , 28 April 1936 – 5 June 2015) was an Iraqi politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and a close advisor of President Saddam Hussein. Their association began in the 1950s when both were activists for the then-banned Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party. He was both an Arab nationalist and a member of the Chaldean Catholic Church.

Due to security concerns, Saddam Hussein rarely left Iraq, so Aziz would often be Iraq's highest level representative at international diplomatic summits. In the year prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Aziz said that the United States did not want "regime change" in Iraq but rather "region change". He said that the Bush Administration's reasons for war were "oil and Israel." After surrendering to American forces on 24 April 2003, Aziz was held in prison, first by American forces and subsequently by the new Iraqi government, in Camp Cropper in western Baghdad.

He was acquitted at trial of some charges on 1 March 2009, but was later found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to 15 years in prison on 11 March 2009 for the executions of 42 merchants found guilty of profiteering in 1992 and another 7 years for relocating Kurds. On 26 October 2010, he was sentenced to death by the Iraqi High Tribunal, which sparked regional and international condemnation from Iraqi bishops and other Iraqis, the Vatican, the United Nations, the European Union and the human rights organization Amnesty International, as well as various governments around the world, such as Russia. On 28 October 2010, it was reported that Aziz, as well as 25 fellow prison inmates, had begun a hunger strike to protest the fact that they could not receive their once-monthly visit from friends and relatives, which was normally set for the last Friday of each month. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani declared that he would not sign Aziz's execution order, thus commuting his sentence to indefinite imprisonment.

Aziz remained in custody for the rest of his life and died of a heart attack in the city of Nasiriyah on 5 June 2015, aged 79. Provided by Wikipedia
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