Blair could have stopped Iraq invasion, says Kofi Annan

Tony Blair stood shoulder to shoulder with President Bush ahead of the 2003 invasion. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

Tony Blair was the only man with the power to stop President Bush from invading Iraq in 2003, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has claimed.

Mr Annan said unlike himself and then US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Mr Blair had the ear of President Bush ahead of the war and could have acted.

Speaking to The Times (£), he said: "I think I will for ever wonder what would have happened if, without a second [UN] resolution ... Blair had said 'George, this is where we part company. You’re on your own."

Mr Annan added: "I really think it could have stopped the war ... It would have given the Americans a pause. It would have given them a very serious pause to think it through ... All this would have raised a question: ‘Do we go this alone?’"