Blair launches probe over pre-war intelligence on Iraq WMD
British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Tuesday told parliament that an inquiry would be held into whether intelligence about Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction" used to justify war against Baghdad was "correct".
Mounting pressure exerted on the British premier to explain why no chemical and biological weapons have been found in Iraq intensified on Monday when US President George W. Bush launched a probe into pre-war charges that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein had possessed such weapons.
Blair said a probe was needed in wake of evidence from David Kay, the former head of the US-British Iraq Survey Group, who conceded last week that Saddam had probably not possessed illegal weapons before the conflict.
Kay's testimony meant "we now need a further inquiry", Blair told a committee of lawmakers.
"I think it is right as a result of what David Kay has said, and the fact that the Iraq Survey Group now probably won't report in the very near term... that we have a look at the intelligence that we received and whether it was accurate or not. I think that is important," he said.
A formal announcement would be made to parliament later on Tuesday by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Blair added. (Albawaba.com)
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