Howard on weapons of mass destruction: 'There was no lie'

FORMER Prime Minister John Howard has defended his decision to send Australian troops to fight in the Iraq War in 2003, denying claims Australian went to war "based on a lie".

Mr Howard spoke to reporters in Sydney this afternoon after the report of the United Kingdom's Chilcot Inquiry was released overnight.

He said his decision with Cabinet colleagues to go to war was the right decision.

"In the years that have gone by there has been this constant claim that we went to war based on a lie," he said.

"There was no lie, there was errors in intelligence but there was no lie."

The Chilcot report found intelligence reports that Saddam Hussein's regime had weapons of mass destruction were incorrect.

But Mr Howard said despite no WMDs being found, he believed the motivation was still correct, as political leaders and high-level bureaucrats believed the Hussein regime would seek to build up a stockpile of such weapons if United Nations sanctions on the country were lifted.

He also said that it was "very, very hard to find a situation where (intelligence) advice is beyond doubt".

Mr Howard said he did not resile from his decision to join the United States-led war in Iraq and he did not share the view that the war led to growth in Al Qaeda or the creation of the so-called Islamic State.


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