In an interview with CNN, Mohamed Aldouri, Saddam Hussein's representative at the world body, said the occupation forces were acting as a magnet for extremists bent on preventing Iraq from developing into a full democracy.
"I think the occupation plays on the sectarianism problems of Iraq right now," Aldouri said on Wednesday from the United Arab Emirates, where he has been living since the fall of Saddam.
Asked if he thought that civil war could break out in Iraq, he said: "It's very,very likely ... I think that the main problem for Iraq now is the occupation itself.
"I am against the occupation. I am against those who are working with the occupation."
He said he thought that Iraq was "very, very capable of governing itself" and that when the occupation forces pulled out, the people who had arrived at the same time would go home too.
He said Iraqis were a "very rational" people and that there might be some trouble from the Kurdish population in the north, but "the other part of Iraq [Sunni and Shia], I think they will stick to their unity. I think this is ... their hope".
"I am against the occupation. I am against those who are working with the occupation"
Former Iraq ambassador to UN
Aldouri said the Iraqis were now pinning their hope on "the national resistance, who resist the occupation, who resist the foreign armies".
While he did not condone Iraqi insurgents attacking fellow Iraqis, Aldouri said the attacks against the US-led occupation forces were justified.
"This is legal ... to resist foreigners, the occupation," he said.
With similar reasoning, Aldouri considered Saddam's incarceration and prosecution unjustified.
"It is illegal ... because, you know, he was captured under the occupation ... So [under] international law, he should not [be jailed]."