'I believe the intelligence was correct', UK Prime Minister Tony Blair on Iraq and WMD, January 2004
'Blair admits: I know my job is on the line', The Observer, January 25, 2004, Excerpts.
Speaking before Kay's resignation, Blair said he had 'absolutely no doubt' the intelligence was genuine.
He has been criticised for apparently shifting from finding evidence of the actual weapons to merely weapons 'programmes'.
'First of all let me just scotch this nonsense that I am now saying it is no longer a question of weapons, it's programmes,' he said.
'Of course it is a question of weapons, but the programmes are important too. If you have got a programme to build weapons of mass destruction, that is important, but it is the actual weapons in the end that do the damage.
'And it is not that I am moving at all - I am simply accepting there is a fact, and the fact is that WMD have not yet been found in Iraq. That is simply accepting the facts.'
Pushed on whether actual weapons would be found however, he refused to give that pledge.
'I can only tell you I believed the intelligence we had at the time,' he said. 'It is absurd to say in respect of any intelligence that it is infallible, but if you ask me what I believe, I believe the intelligence was correct, and I think in the end we will have an explanation.'
Asked if weapons will be found, he said: 'Well that is something that the Iraq Survey Group is going to have to find. All I can say is that prior to the conflict, during the conflict, immediately after the conflict, we were having meetings, discussions, taking precautions precisely on that basis.'
Source: The Observer, http://observer.guardian.co.uk/hutton/story/0,13845,1130811,00.html.
© 2003 The Acronym Institute.