Former British prime minister Tony Blair was the only person capable of turning former US president George W. Bush against the 2003 Iraq invasion, ex-UN chief Kofi Annan claimed in an interview published yesterday.
Annan argued in an interview published in the Times newspaper that Blair could have changed Bush’s mind because of the special relationship between the two nations and the two leaders.
Annan said he often had contemplated what might have happened if “Blair had said ‘George, this is where we part company. You’re on your own,’” following the failure to secure a second UN resolution.
“I really think it could have stopped the war,” he said.
A first Security Council resolution, which offered Iraq a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations passed unanimously in November 2002.
However, a second resolution proposed by the US, Britain, and Spain in 2003 that called for action to be taken against former Iraqi president Saddam Hussain’s regime was withdrawn when it became clear it would be vetoed.
The US decided that the resolution was not needed before military action could lawfully take place, and the invasion began on March 20. The invasion triggered eight years of sectarian conflict.