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5 May, 2016 15:07

‘Britain second-most responsible for death of one million Iraqis’

‘Britain second-most responsible for death of one million Iraqis’

Downing Street is deliberately delaying release of the Iraq Inquiry findings related to UK’s role, as it might affect British standing in Europe as well as the results of the upcoming Brexit referendum, said writer and commentator Abdel Bari Atwan.

The Chilcot report about Britain's role in Iraq in 2003 won't be published until after next month's EU referendum. UK Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed that, even though he'd earlier pushed for it to be released as quickly as possible.

RT: The Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War will have taken almost seven years by the time it comes out, why has it taken so long?

Abdel Bari Atwan: Well, I believe because there was a deliberate move from the British government to hide the facts and because they don’t want to expose Tony Blair and the military establishment, who were involved in this war after misleading the public, misleading the ministers, misleading Parliament. Now they cannot keep it for that long, after seven years it is actually more than enough. It seems they are waiting for the referendum about whether to stay, or to leave the European Union, and after that they will release the outcome of this investigation.

RT: What is the political motivation behind the decision to publish the report only after Britain's EU referendum?

ABA: Because definitely the outcome, the content of this enquiry will affect the British government, will affect British standing in Europe. It could actually influence public opinion in this country to vote on this side or the other. The people who know the content of this enquiry would like again to mislead the British public, not actually to take maybe a step or a position against staying in the EU. So maybe that is why they are trying to keep it until after the referendum itself. They don’t want this report to influence the outcome of the referendum.

RT: Since the invasion, to what extent do you think the UK is responsible for the chaos and instability in Iraq?

ABA: Definitely Britain is the second most responsible for the chaos, for the destruction, for the death of a million people in Iraq. Why? Because Britain was the greater partner of the US in this invasion. Blair gave undertakings to the American government that he will join them in this invasion maybe a year, or a year and a half before the invasion itself. That is why Britain is the second most responsible for the destruction of Iraq, for the death of a million people, for the anarchy, the failed state that is now Iraq. I believe, yes, Britain, Tony Blair in particular – he took his country to this war, which was absolutely counterproductive and created more problems than solving any one problem under the pretext of weapons of mass destruction, which proved to be a big lie from the British government, from the American government.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.