LONDON (AP) – Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he believed it would have been right to invade Iraq even if it was known that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction.
In a BBC interview broadcast Saturday, Blair said he would have found other arguments to justify the U.S.-led invasion. He said it was right to remove Saddam from power because he was a major threat to the Middle East region at the time.
“I would still have thought it right to remove him. Obviously, you would have had to use and deploy different arguments, about the nature of the threat,” he said. “I can’t really think we’d be better with him and his two sons still in charge,” he added.
The former prime minister had advanced similar arguments since the invasion force found no weapons of mass destruction, which had been the leading justification for military action.
Britain is holding an exhaustive inquiry investigating the Iraq war, and Blair was due to give evidence in January.
The inquiry, which has been hearing evidence from former key military officials, diplomats and spy agency chiefs, won’t apportion blame or establish criminal or civil liability. It was expected to give recommendations by late 2010 on how to prevent mistakes from being repeated in the future.