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US used false pretext to invade Iraq

ElBaradeiUN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei criticized the United States on Monday for using a false pretext to invade Iraq, costing the lives of possibly hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

Former US President George W Bush ordered US troops into Iraq in March 2003 to overthrow dictator Saddam Hussein, citing evidence of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in that country. No such weapons were found after the invasion.

ElBaradei said Iraq and North Korea were two cases of suspected nuclear proliferation in the 1990s. “I will always lament the fact that a tragic war was launched in Iraq,” he said in a last address to the UN General Assembly.

“This was done on the basis of false pretext, without the authorization of the UN Security Council,” he said.

He said the IAEA and UN weapons inspectors had found no evidence that Iraq’s nuclear programmes involved production of weapons of mass destruction.

“It gives me no consolation that the agency (IAEA)’s findings were subsequently vindicated,” he said, implying that the US military campaign in Iraq had caused high civilians casualties.

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