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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Tony Blair won't be investigated in Iraq War inquiry

Iran Press TV

Sun May 29, 2016 4:3AM

Former UK prime minister Tony Blair will not be investigated for breaking laws in the upcoming Iraq War inquiry report, in spite of assertions that the military intervention was illegal.

The report to be published on July 6 is not set up to take a view on whether the acts of individuals or events were legal.

The Chilcot Report would "not seek to determine the guilt of innocence of anybody on trial," sources close to the inquiry said, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

The report will not make "any judgments on the legality or anything like that" either, the sources added.

The report, however, includes the question of whether the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was legal and whether any lessons can be learned, the sources noted.

The US with strong UK backing invaded Iraq in March 2003 under the pretext that the regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons, however, were ever found in Iraq.

More than one million Iraqis were killed as the result of the invasion, and subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.

The invasion plunged Iraq into chaos, resulting in years of deadly violence and the rise of terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, which was a precursor of Daesh.

Blair has already admitted that he "profoundly" underestimated the complexity of the politics in the Middle East and the possible turmoil that would ensue following the invasion.

According to Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, the Iraq War was illegal and that anyone who had committed a crime should be tried, including Blair, who served as Labour prime minister between 1997 and 2007.

"If [Tony Blair has] committed a war crime, yes. Everyone who's committed a war crime should be [charged]," Corbyn, who voted and campaigned against the war, said earlier this week.

"I think it was an illegal war, I'm confident about that, indeed [former UN secretary general] Kofi Annan confirmed it was an illegal war, and therefore he has to explain that."

"Is he going to be tried for it? I don't know. Could he be tried for it? Possibly," he added.

In October 2015, a damning White House memo revealed that Blair had agreed to support the war a year before the invasion even started, while publicly the British prime minister was working to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

The document also disclosed that Blair agreed to act as a spin doctor for former US President George W. Bush and convince a skeptical public that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction, which actually did not exist.

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