Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blair and Bush planned Iraq war without second UN vote, letter shows

Five months before invasion, pair agreed to go ahead if weapons breach was revealed, according to newly released letter

George Bush and Tony Blair
George Bush and Tony Blair in April 2003. A letter shows they had agreed five months before to invade Iraq without a second UN resolution. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA
Britain and the US were planning to take action against Saddam Hussein without a second UN resolution five months before the invasion of Iraq, a newly released letter from Tony Blair‘s office shows.

A letter from Blair’s private secretary reveals that “we and the US would take action” without a new resolution by the UN security council if UN weapons inspectors showed Saddam had clearly breached an earlier resolution. In that case, he “would not have a second chance”.

That was the only way Britain could persuade the Bush administration to agree to a role for the UN and continuing work by UN weapons inspectors, the letter says.

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