A bidding war starting at $7 million (£4.5 million) has been sparked for the rope used to hang Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
The rope, which is kept by a former home minister who was tortured three times by Saddam’s regime, is reportedly wanted by two Kuwaiti businessmen, a wealthy Israeli family, a bank and an Iranian religious organisation.
The Iraq War: A timeline
The Iraq War: A timeline
1/16 11 September 2001
Terrorists belonging to al-Qaeda use hijacked aeroplanes to kill 2,996 people in attacks on the east coast of the US.
2/16 12 September 2001
Tony Blair promises George W Bush that the UK will support the US, whatever the President decides to do.
3/16 25 March 2002
Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary, warns Blair that invading Iraq would be legally dubious.
4/16 June 2002
Tony Blair asks defence officials to outline options for UK participation in military action against Iraq.
5/16 24 September 2002
The government publishes a dossier about the threat from Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. A foreword by Tony Blair states that Saddam Hussein’s “military planning allows for some of the WMD to be ready within 45 minutes of an order to use them”. It is subsequently alleged that this dossier was “sexed up” for political reasons.
6/16 2 October 2002
Congress authorises President Bush to use military force against Iraq.
7/16 8 November 2002
UN Security Council passes resolution 1441, insisting that weapons inspectors be allowed back into Iraq and calling on the regime to give up its WMD or face the consequences.
8/16 18 July 2003
David Kelly, an expert in biological warfare, is found dead after being named as the source of quotations used by the BBC’s Andrew Gilligan to suggest that the dossier of September 2002 had been “sexed up”. Lord Hutton is appointed to chair a judicial inquiry into his death.
9/16 13 December 2003
Saddam Hussein is captured near Tikrit, after nine months in hiding.
10/16 2 March 2004
Bombings in Baghdad and Karbala kill nearly 200 people: the worst attacks since the fall of Saddam.
11/16 14 September 2005
Bombs in Baghdad kill 160 people and injure more than 500.
12/16 30 December 2005
Saddam Hussein is executed.
13/16 28 May 2009
The last British combat troops leave Iraq.
14/16 24 November 2009
The Chilcot inquiry holds its first public hearing.
15/16 2 February 2011
The Chilcot inquiry holds its final public hearing.
16/16 21 January 2015
Sir John Chilcot confirms that his report will not be published before the general election in May 2015.
Dr Mowaffak al-Rubaie, who led the former president to his death in 2006, keeps it wrapped around the neck of a statue of Saddam in his living room in northern Baghdad, according to Arabic news site Al Araby.
Dr al-Rubaie – who has not yet confirmed or denied the impending sale – is said to want more than the reported $7 million for the length of rope and is expected to engage in negotiations with the potential buyers.
He claims that he ordered his men to bring him back some of the rope after the toppled dictator was hung by the state.
Dr al-Rubaie had told The Independent that he “thought it appropriate” to drape it around the bronze bust that Americans removed from Saddam’s palace.
The money collected from the rope sale “covered in hatred and ignorance” should go towards the treasury to be used for the public’s benefit as the law prohibits the sale for private gain, human rights activist Ahmed Saeed had said.
The Shia Muslim, who practiced as a neurologist and surgeon in Britain for 24 years while in exile before he led Saddam to the gallows, was persecuted and even sentenced to death in absentia for his beliefs – although he said that he believes the leader “was not a religious man”.
The now-member of the Iraqi parliament had said of the day Saddam was executed: “I was hoping to see him show some remorse for the terrible crimes, the hundreds of thousands of his own citizens that he and his henchmen killed.
“But there was nothing. I could see he was not a religious man. We had to remind him to say ‘Allahu Akbar’ [‘God is greatest’] as he was about to die.”
Saddam, who suffocated Shia and Kurdish movements that sought to overthrow his Ba’ath government, was captured in 2003 by a US-UK military coalition.
He was accused of storing weapons of mass destruction – and their existence was put into doubt as none have reportedly been found and no nuclear bomb had been built.Reuse content