Ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein said on Wednesday that he would go to the gallows as a "sacrifice" and called on his former Iraqi subjects to unite against their enemies.
Saddam, in a letter written to the Iraqi people from his cell and confirmed as genuine by his defence counsel, said: "I sacrifice myself. If God wills it, he will place me among the true men and martyrs."
On Tuesday, a panel of appeals court judges confirmed Saddam's conviction for crimes against humanity and ordered that he be hanged within 30 days.
In what might therefore be his final message, Saddam blamed his old enemies the United States and Iran for the bloodshed engulfing Iraq, which is in the grip of a sectarian war between Sunni and Shiite factions.
"The enemies of your country, the invaders and the Persians have found your unity a barrier between you and those who are now ruling you.
Therefore, they drove their hated wedge among you," he declared.
"O faithful people, I bid you farewell as my soul goes to God the compassionate," he wrote. "Long live Iraq. Long Live Iraq. Long live Palestine. Long live jihad and the mujahideen. God is great."