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Blair behaved like a vendor on Iraq: Blix
February 09, 2004 09:21 IST
British Prime Minister Tony Blair is under attack again. This time from former United Nations weapons chief inspector Hans Blix for the manner in which he projected pre-war intelligence about Iraq.
"One could interpret it in different ways but the intention was to dramatise it, just as the vendors of some merchandise are trying to increase or exaggerate the importance of what they have," Blix told BBC television.
"From politicians, from our leaders in the West, I think we expect more than that. A bit more sincerity," Blix said.
He was referring to the prominence that Blair gave in a September 2002 intelligence dossier to a claim that Saddam Hussein could deploy chemical and biological weapons within 45 minutes.
The dossier formed part of Blair's efforts to persuade a sceptical British public that pre-emptive military action was required to rid Saddam of weapons of mass destruction.
Blix's comments coincided with an article in the Independent newspaper, which claimed that the source of the 45-minute claim had left Iraq some years earlier and had only obtained the information second hand.