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United States has utterly failed in Iraq : Primakov

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Moscow, Mar 23 (UNI) Making a scathing attack on US policy in Iraq, former Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov has said the the country has ''failed miserably'' in Iraq.

''When this operation against Iraq was starting, it was being said in the United States that it alone was in a position to solve any problem because it was the most powerful,'' Mr Primakov said in an exclusive interview to Interfax news agency, in connection with the third anniversary of the start of the Iraq war.

''Yes, it is the most powerful. But single-handed it cannot solve problems that have to do with a post-crisis stabilisation in any country. Iraq has demonstrated this once again,'' he noted.

Mr Primakov said that if there had been some kind of 'magic mechanism' three years ago, to show the Americans what Iraq would be like three years after the start of their operation, normal people would not have started it.

''In these three years it has become clear that the reasons that were offered for the operation have proved to be a fiction. This is completely clear,'' he said.

''Iraq did not possess or make efforts to possess nuclear weapons. It was doing no work to that end. Nor did Iraq have any links with Al Qaeda. This has been admitted in Washington. This means that there were other motives for the action against Iraq,'' he stressed.

Mr Primakov said that one more declared aim of the war was to replace the undemocratic Iraqi regime with a democratic government.

''I think the three years have demonstrated how little this argument has to do with reality,'' he pointed out.

On the current violent situation in the country, he said that Iraq today faced a threat of collapse.

''Iraq's territorial integrity has become jeopardised during these three years since the day the US operation started,'' Mr Primakov underscored.

UNI XC ARB KN1824

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