London, Nov 12 (ANI): Nelson Mandela had reportedly condemned former US President George W Bush as a "small man" who was seeking to dominate the world over his decision to invade Iraq, adding that his decision of deposing Saddam Hussein was not because of a massive stockpile of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), but because he wanted to tap into Iraq's oil reserves.
According to the Telegraph, the South African freedom fighter-turned-world leader is said to have believed strongly in the West as a force for good and felt betrayed by Bush's unilateral grandstanding, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's support for it.
In 2003, when the decision was taken to invade the country without the backing of the UN, Mandela, a Nobel Peace Laureate, reportedly called Peter Hain, the then Welsh Secretary and former anti-apartheid activist, to "breathe fire" about it.
Hain said that Mandela expressed his strong dislike for the US leader when the two men met shortly after the Iraq invasion.
"He described George Bush as a small man. He felt very strongly about the way the Bush presidency was seeking to dominate the world. He felt dismay and sadness about the decision of two countries to which he felt very close," the paper quoted Hain, as saying.
"He is part of a generation that looked very much to the West, that saw the Westminster parliament as the mother of parliaments, Britain as a force for good in the world along with America and he felt betrayed," he added.
The revelation came shortly after the launch of Bush's book in which he has stressed that his decision to invade Iraq was right, and that "no one was more shocked or angry" than him that WMD's were not found. (ANI)