US followed own timetable on Iraq war: Ex-UK envoy
London: The United States followed its own military timetable for the 2003 invasion of Iraq rather than allowing diplomacy to run its full course, the former British ambassador to the United Nations said on Friday.
Jeremy Greenstock told a British inquiry into the Iraq war that he did not think that UN inspectors had been given enough time to search for weapons of mass destruction (WMD), cited as the reason for war, before the March 2003 invasion.
No such weapons were found after the US-led invasion and overthrow of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, but Greenstock said he remained convinced Iraq was hiding something.
"There was a concealment committee established by Iraq and they were very good at it," he told the inquiry.
He said he believed war would probably still have followed if the United States had agreed to delay the use of force until October, but that the campaign would have had greater legitimacy.
Military planners wanted to launch the campaign early enough to avoid fighting during the hot summer months, he said.
In an opening written statement, Greenstock said only US president George W Bush was in a position to "switch off" the planning ahead of the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
"The US and the UK had, well before then, decided that the threat from Iraq, which was genuinely perceived as including the potential threat of the use of WMD, could only be terminated either if Saddam Hussein conceded absolutely everything the resolutions demanded or if his regime fell."
"If this was to be achieved through a UN route, that had to happen on a US-ordained timing," he added.
Greenstock, British ambassador at the United Nations from 1998 to 2003, was appearing on the fourth day of a public inquiry into the invasion and subsequent war in which 179 British soldiers were killed.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Vadodara: Policemen seen dancing with bar girls
- PM Modi speaks at Golden Jubilee celebrations of poet Dinkar’s works
- Zee Media Exclusive: Kangana, Madhavan talk about their film 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns'
- DNA: Harmful chemicals found in Maggi, Nestle India still in denial mode
- One year of Modi govt: Arun Jaitley addresses press conference
- CM Kejriwal shortlists 39 'unwanted' IAS officers in Delhi
- Zee Media Exclusive interview with Congress leader Kamal Nath
- DNA: Modi-led NDA govt's hits and misses in one year
- Rajasthan: Gujjars revive reservation agitation, block rail track
- J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
- Mumbai: One injured in shootout at Film City
- Delhi: Car catches fire after crash, one dead
- ISIS to buy first nuclear weapon from Pak?
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- IPL 2015, Qualifier 2: CSK vs RCB - As it happened...
- Tanu Weds Manu Returns movie review: Kangana Ranaut steals the show!
- India to soon have its own space shuttle!
- Kejriwal slams notification on LG's powers, says Modi running Delhi govt through back door
- PM Narendra Modi graces Digvijay Singh's son wedding reception
- Rahul Gandhi to pressurise govt to act on one-rank-one-pension issue
- Goa Board SSC Exam Results 2015 announced
- CBSE 12th Results 2015: CBSE Board Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic class 12th XII board exam Results 2015 date announced
- ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
- Businessman shot next to Amitabh Bachchan's shooting location in Mumbai Film City
- Manohar Parrikar visits forward areas along LoC, reviews security situation
- RBSE 12th Science & Commerce Board Result 2015 declared
- There will be no delay in appointing CIC, CVC: Jitendra Singh
- rajresults.nic.in RBSE Rajasthan Board BSER Class 12th Science and Commerce Exam Results 2015 to be declared shortly
- RBSE rajresults.nic.in & rajeduboard.nic.in 12th Results 2015: BSER Ajmer Rajasthan Board Class 12th XII Senior Secondary Science & Commerce Exam Results 2015 declared