Iran and Chilcot

Will we learn the lessons of Iraq?

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I find it ironic, if not frustrating, to see Gordon Brown, in Trinidad, pontificating on Iran's alleged breach of its international obligations and repeating insinuations, if not outright claims, from leaders in the west that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, in the very same week that the Chilcot inquiry is reminding us of the lies, distortions and exaggerations fed to us by those same leaders about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Will we never learn the lessons of the Iraq debacle? Why are the media repeating these mistakes, misrepresenting and hyping an imagined threat?

Here are the facts: in September 2009, the outgoing IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei -- who got Iraq right, not wrong, unlike Blair, Brown et al -- said in an interview that there was "no credible evidence" of an Iranian weapons attempt. He said: "I do not think based on what we see that Iran has an ongoing nuclear weapons programme."

There is one country in the Middle East that does have nuclear weapons and it does begin with the letter "I", but it's not Iran, or Iraq. It is, of course, Israel. When are we going to have an inquiry about that?

 

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Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.