From Sky News
Mr Blix became a powerful critic of the US-led invasion after his teams failed to find the significant stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons that Tony Blair and President George Bush insisted Saddam Hussein was hoarding.
He told Sky News’ Anna Botting the invasion was “clearly illegal” and said Mr Blair had not been completely straight with the evidence used to justify military force. Mr Blix said: “They put exclamation marks instead of question marks. There were question marks but they changed them to exclamation marks.
“And I think they got the political punishment for that. They lost a lot of confidence. Both Bush and Blair …”
He said that allowing the UN inspectors to continue their work could have avoided the war. More than 130 UK troops, over 3,100 US forces and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have died since the invasion as the country threatens to tumble into full-scale civil war. Mr Blix said: “I think if they’d allowed us to carry on the inspections a couple of months more then we would have been able to go to all the sites suspected of by intelligence.
“And since there weren’t any weapons we’d have come with that answer: there are no weapons at all the sites you’ve given us.”
The former Swedish foreign minister added that he hoped Iraqi people could be empowered and turn around their country’s fortunes, saying: “I don’t see that the US can succeed.”