BAGHDAD, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- World reaction to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's execution ranged from glee and vindication to fear and dismay Saturday.
U.S. President George W. Bush said Saddam's execution would not halt Iraqi violence, but marked the "end of a difficult year."
British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said Saddam had been "held to account."
The Muslim Council of Britain said the execution would "be regarded as an insensitive and provocative act by the U.S.-backed Iraqi government."
The Vatican called the killing "tragic, a reason for sadness, even if it deals with a person who was guilty of grave crimes," because it feeds "a spirit of vendetta" and could "sow new violence," The New York Times reported.
Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres told Israeli public radio, "Saddam Hussein brought about his own demise."
The Palestinian Sunni Islamist organization Hamas condemned the killing as a "political assassination" that "violates all international laws."
Russia's foreign minister expressed regret over the execution and warned of deterioration in Iraq, Novosti reported.
India called the hanging "unfortunate," saying it would sharpen Iraq's Shiite-Sunni divide and inflame anti-U.S. feelings there, the Press Trust of India reported.
An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said thousands of Iraqis, Iranians and Kuwaitis were overjoyed by the execution, IRNA said.
Though a secular ruler, Saddam was backed by Sunnis, a minority in Iraq. Iran is ruled by majority Shiites.