Chilcot report: The seven most important lines from the Iraq Inquiry

Sir John Chilcot delivers a blistering criticism of the decision to take the UK to war

Adam Withnall@adamwithnall
Wednesday 06 July 2016 12:20
Chilcot report: Key points from the Iraq inquiry in 90 seconds

After seven years, the Iraq Inquiry is finally over. Sir John Chilcot has delivered his findings - and they were about as critical as they could have been within the remit he was given.

Here the critical lines from Sir John's statement presenting the report:

Chilcot on the threat posed by Iraq:

“Military action might have been necessary at some point, but in March 2003 there was no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein.”

Chilcot on Blair’s assertions about WMDs:

“The judgements about Iraq’s capabilities in that [September 2002] statement, and in the dossier published the same day, were presented with a certainty that was not justified.”

Chilcot on the UN not backing the war:

“In the absence of a majority in support of military action, we consider that the UK was, in fact, undermining the Security Council’s authority.”

The Iraq War in Numbers

Chilcot on the legality of the war:

“We have, however, concluded that the circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis or UK military action were far from satisfactory.”

Chilcot on the special relationship:

“The UK’s relationship with the US has proved strong enough over time to bear the weight of honest disagreement. It does not require unconditional support where our interests or judgments differ.”

Chilcot on Iraq as last resort:

“We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.”

Chilcot on the post-war administration:

“The scale of the UK effort in post-conflict Iraq never matched the scale of the challenge. Whitehall departments and their Ministers failed to put collective weight behind the task.”

For seven years the nation has awaited the publication of the Chilcot report on Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War. It has now finally seen the light of day, and at 2.6m pages long is one of the largest reports ever published. To help you make sense of it all, and get the latest commentary, we have published a series of articles on the inquiry and the fallout from the UK's intervention in Iraq.

Tony Blair convinced himself Iraq had WMDs – but intelligence 'did not justify' his certainty

How to read the report in full

A timeline of the Iraq War and the disasters that ensued

What happened to the key players in the Iraq War?

Chilcot? Chaff? Dodgy dossier? an Iraq War glossary

Who is Sir John Chilcot, the ex-civil servant leading inquiry into the Iraq war?

The inside story of how Tony Blair led Britain to war in Iraq

Who were the 179 British soldiers who died during the Iraq War?

How many UK soldiers died in Iraq? And at what cost? The war in numbers

The 7 key questions of Chilcot answered

Tony Blair, the Iraq War, and the words of mass destruction that continue to deceive

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