As an Iraqi, I would first like to say that we are extremely sorry for those who lost their lives during the war against Saddam Hussein. Our sympathies are with their families wherever they are – US, UK, Iraq - or anywhere else.

It must be remembered, however, that at the time not only did Prime Minister Blair & President Bush wish to remove Saddam Hussain from power in Iraq, but so did most of the entire spectrum of the Iraqi opposition (including Kurds, Arabs, Shia, and all other minorities that make up the Iraq) and most of the international community.

The Iraqi opposition lobbied Governments throughout the world, and we, as representatives of the Iraqi opposition, believe that Prime Minister Blair and President Bush were acting in response to the Iraqi people and to protect them, on the basis of evidence available at that time. Much of the evidence for the Baathist’s brutal regime had been extensively documented by the Iraqi opposition.

There was concrete evidence that Saddam Hussain was complicit and had instructed organised campaigns of genocide, torture, war, ethnic cleansing and use of chemical/biological weapons against the Iraqi population (e.g. Halabja), as well as neighbouring countries. We are STILL finding the mass graves of the nearly ONE MILLION Iraqis murdered as a result of his actions.

There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussain was a brutal dictator and a war criminal, and that Iraqis were actively lobbying for his removal. Although Iraq currently has its problems, I believe they are the result of Iraqis themselves. We will always remain grateful for the support shown by Tony Blair, - and the British Government and British Parliament at that time.