Iraq inquiry: Bush was determined to overthrow Saddam

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London, Feb.9 (ANI): Former US President George Bush is said to have warned former British Prime Minister Tony Blair that the United States would go ahead with the invasion of Iraq "come what may".

According to evidence heard at the official inquiry into the conflict, conversations between the two reveal that Bush was determined to overthrow Saddam even if he co-operated fully with United Nations' weapons inspectors.

The disclosure came as former foreign secretary Jack Straw was making his second appearance before the inquiry.

There has been intense speculation about the private communications between Blair and Bush in the run-up to the war, details of which have been made available to the inquiry team although they have not been released publicly.

When Straw was asked whether Blair was categorically told by Bush thathe would attack Iraq no matter what the UN inspectors findings were, Straw responded: "Certainly not to the best of my recollection."

The conversations appeared to relate to the period in late 2002 and early 2003, when UN inspectors, led by Hans Blix, were searching for Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction.

In his evidence to the inquiry last month, Blair said that Bush had told him on several occasions that they would have to "take yes for answer" if the "UN route" worked and Saddam co-operated with the inspectors.

The latest disclosure is likely to increase pressure for Blair to be recalled when the inquiry resumes in the summer after the general election. (ANI)

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