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Former chief UN weapons inspector: US regime was 'high for war' in Iraq and 'thought they could get away with it'

John Higginson - 28th July, 2010 Share| .Hans Blix tells Iraq inquiry US was on 'high for war'

The US was 'high on military' action before it invaded Iraq, former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix has claimed.

Its leaders didn’t feel they needed ‘a permission slip’ from the security council, added Dr Blix, who headed the team sent to search for weapons of mass destruction before the invasion in March 2003.

‘The US in 2002...I think they were high on military at the time. They said ‘‘we can do it’’,’ he told the Iraq inquiry.

‘They thought they could get away with it so they decided to do it.’

Dr Blix also privately told then prime minister Tony Blair, in the autumn of 2002, that he believed there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq despite not finding evidence of them.

‘I, like most people at the time, felt that Iraq retained weapons of mass destruction,’ he said. ‘I did not say so publicly. I said it perhaps to Mr Blair in September 2002 privately, but not publicly.’

He later warned Mr Blair that Britain could end up attacking and find nothing.

.When his survey teams found nothing at 500 sites he warned the US and Britain to ‘reconsider their sources’.

Dr Blix said he first became suspicious about the WMD claims when he saw reports about uranium being imported from Niger.

It took the IAEA one day in March 2003 to work out they were forgeries, he added. ‘I think that was the most scandalous part of the whole thing.’

Asked if Iraq was given a ‘realistic possibility of meeting the requirements of the resolution’ Dr Blix replied: ‘Yes, except that it was very hard for them to declare any weapons when they didn’t have any.’

Dr Blix said he believed a second UN resolution was needed before attacks were launched on Iraq but none was made.


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Tags: Iraq, WMD, Hans Blix, UN, weapons inspectors, , conspiracy theories.

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