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Wednesday, 25 June, 2003, 16:22 GMT 17:22 UK
Iraq: How the war was justified
Sir Christopher Meyer
Does America regret the tensions in relations with Europe?

In a Hardtalk interview on June 25 Tim Sebastian talks to former UK ambassador to the USA, Sir Christopher Meyer, about whether weapons of mass destruction will be found in Iraq and the state of trans-Atlantic relations.


Sir Christopher Meyer left his post as ambassador to Washington before the war in Iraq broke out.

However, he was involved in the diplomatic efforts in the lead-up to the decision to take military action.

A very senior American made this point to me...at the end of the day the only thing that mattered to them was the UK

Sir Christopher Meyer

He says the UK's most important contribution to the diplomatic efforts was to persuade the US administration that it needed to exhaust all avenues in the United Nations Security Council before going to war.

Parting ways?

When asked if the US and UK could have parted ways during the lead-up to war, he says:

"I don't actually know. I think it could have done. There might have been a parting of the ways, but I don't think the Americans would have wanted to part ways on this with us."

"A very senior American made this point to me: at the end of the day the only thing that mattered to them was the UK. So I think if we had felt it was impossible to move forward because the United Nations was not being used than this may well have given the US administration pause."

Saddam Hussein
Did Saddam Hussein really possess weapons of mass destruction?

Relations between the United States and France, Russia and Germany became strained over the decision to take military action in Iraq.

Mr Meyer says he thinks the US administration cares more about losing the countries' support than it is willing to admit to.

Where are the weapons?

Mr Meyer says he has no doubt weapons of mass destruction will be found in Iraq.

"I think one of the things that has gone wrong over the last few months is that we have got ourselves into a frame of mind which is wrong: that the task of the Security Council, of the Allies, of Blix, was to find Saddam Hussein guilty by finding weapons of mass destruction.

"In actual fact, as you will remember from resolution 1441, the burden of proof falls on the shoulders of Saddam Hussein not the Security Council."

HARDtalk can be seen on BBC World at 03:30 GMT, 08:30 GMT, 15:30 GMT, 18:30 GMT and 23:30 GMT.

It can also be seen on BBC News 24 at 03:30 GMT and 22:30 GMT



HARDtalk with Tim Sebastian is broadcast Mon - Friday on BBC World and BBC News 24
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