Blair took UK into war knowing Iraq had no WMD: Inquiry
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Last Updated: Friday, November 27, 2009, 00:12
London: Former Prime Minister Tony Blair led Britain into the Iraq war even as he was told that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, an inquiry into the 2003 conflict was informed.

Blair received intelligence that Saddam's weapons of mass destruction had been "dismantled" 10 days before Britain invaded Iraq, the inquiry into the controversial war has been told.

The British Foreign Office did not believe Iraq had nuclear missiles, but Blair told parliament that Saddam was a threat to security in the Middle East because he still had chemical and biological weapons which could be launched at 45 minutes’ notice.

The staff warned that the Iraqi dictator’s nuclear programme had been dismantled and there was no evidence he had chemical or biological weapons.

However, despite the briefings, the then Prime Minister ordered the troops to join the American-led offensive six years ago, the Daily Express reported.

William Ehrman, Foreign Office director of international security at the time, said ministers were repeatedly warned intelligence on Iraq’s weapons was "patchy".

"We did, I think on March 10, get a report that chemical weapons might have remained disassembled and Saddam hadn’t yet ordered their assembly," Ehrman was quoted as saying by the British tabloid.

"There was also a suggestion that Iraq might lack warheads capable of effective dispersal of agents," he said.


First Published: Friday, November 27, 2009, 00:12

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