BAGHDAD (REUTER) - Iraqi President Saddam Hussein`s eldest son Uday said an attempt on his own life had backfired by increasing his father`s popularity, Uday`s newspaper Babel reported on Wednesday. "What they have done by their cowardly and treacherous act has turned negatively against them as the leader`s popularity has increased," the paper quoted Uday as saying while receiving Iraq`s Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan and other ministers. Uday, 32, was shot by unidentified assailants on December 12 while driving in a prosperous area of Baghdad. He has since been shown on his television channel, Shabab, lying in a hospital bed and greeting visitors. Iraq and Uday himself blamed Iran for the attack. Iranian officials denied the accusation.