Sultan Hashim Ahmad al-Tai
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|Sultan Hashim Ahmad al-Tai|
|Minister of Defence|
|Prime Minister||Saddam Hussein|
|Preceded by||Ali Hassan al-Majid|
|Succeeded by||Hazim al-Shaalan|
|Political party||Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party|
|Years of service||1960-1995|
Sulṭān Hāshim Aḥmad Muḥammad al-Ṭāʾī (Arabic:سلطان هاشم أحمد محمد الطائي, b. 1944 in Mosul, Iraq) was Minister of Defense under Saddam Hussein's regime. Considered one of Iraq's most competent military commanders, he was appointed to the position in 1995. During his thirty-year military career, Sultan commanded two brigades, three divisions, and two corps of regular army corps before assuming responsibilities as Minister of Defense.
He served in the Iraqi Army during the 1980-1988 Iran–Iraq War and later in the First Gulf War, signing the ceasefire that ended it. He survived several purges and became the highest-ranking general in the Iraqi army. He was regarded largely as a figurehead in the Iraqi armed forces with real control.
As the invasion of Iraq loomed, it was reported in The Guardian in February 2003 that he had been placed under house arrest by Saddam Hussein, in a move that was apparently designed to prevent a coup. Nevertheless he continued to appear on Iraqi state TV, to preserve a sense of normality.
He was number 27 on the United States' list of most wanted former Iraqi officials. On September 19, 2003, after nearly a week of negotiations, he gave himself up in Mosul to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Dawood Bagistani, who arranged the surrender to Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, said Ahmad was handed over "with great respect" and was with his family at the time. Bagistani said the US military had promised to remove Ahmad's name from the list of 55 most-wanted, meaning he would not face indefinite confinement and possible prosecution. "We trust the promise," Bagistani said.
Special treatment for Ahmad could be an effort to defuse the guerrilla-style attacks that were taking a toll on American soldiers. Many of the attackers are thought to be former soldiers in Saddam's army. Seeing their former military leader well-treated by the Americans might have encourage them to lay down their arms.
On June 24, 2007 he was sentenced to death by hanging for war crimes against humanity. His execution was scheduled for September 11, 2007, but his execution was never carried out because of public disapproval from Iraq's president and vice-president.