UK PM defends legality of Iraq invasion

(Jurist) UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown testified to the Iraq Inquiry on Friday 5 March that he remains convinced that the decision to participate in the 2003 Iraq invasion was the appropriate course of action.

He stated that in the former capacity as head of the Treasury, he received information from intelligence agents that he deemed credible and “led [him] to believe that Iraq was a threat that had to be dealt with.” Brown explained that Saddam Hussein’s refusal to comply with UN directives necessitated a response from the international community:

“I believe we made the right decision for the right reasons, because the international community had for years asked Saddam Hussein to abide by international law and the international obligations that he had accepted. Fourteen resolutions were passed by the United Nations, and at the end of the day, it was impossible to persuade him that he should abide by international law. Now my feeling is and still is that we cannot have an international community that works if we have either terrorists who are breaking these rules or, in this case, aggressor states that refuse to obey the laws of the international community.”

Brown also outlined three primary “lessons” from the invasion, stressing the importance of “proper structures of decision making,” securing a “just peace,” and increasing international cooperation in any future interventions.

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