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French accuse Tony Blair of ‘Soviet-style’ propaganda in run-up to Iraq war

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Paul Waugh
London Evening Standard
Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Tony Blair was accused by the French government of “Soviet-style” black propaganda in the run-up to the Iraq war, secret memos obtained by the Iraq inquiry have found.

The Chilcot committee has obtained confidential phone records showing that then foreign secretary Jack Straw was told days before the crunch eve-of-war Commons vote not to misrepresent the French position on the need for UN approval.

The row began after Mr Blair seized on remarks by French president Jacques Chirac on 10 March 2003, that he would not back a second UN resolution authorising war in Iraq “whatever the circumstances”.

Mr Blair said the French were making clear they would use their Security Council veto “no matter what”. His claim was crucial in persuading wavering Labour backbenchers that the UN route was no longer possible and that the war had to go ahead.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 4:57 am

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