An Australian newspaper has released a tape recording received by one of its correspondents in Baghdad which purports to contain a speech from Saddam Hussein to the Iraqi people.

Two men delivered the tape to the Sydney Morning Herald in the Iraqi capital on Monday.

The recording is thought to have been made in the past few days and the tape features a man speaking in Arabic urging the Iraqi people to rise up against the American-led occupation.

The paper says it played the tape to an Australian linguistics expert and to more than a dozen Iraqis and that the overwhelming opinion was that the voice and rhetoric were very similar, or identical, to Saddam's.

The paper is due to make the tape available to the US authorities today.