Kay Warns U.S. Not to Repeat Iraq Mistakes in Iran
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. official who declared the White House's hunt for illicit weapons in Iraq to be a failure driven by faulty intelligence has warned the Bush administration against repeating its mistakes in the current war of words with arch-foe Iran.
"There is an eerie similarity to the events preceding the Iraq war," David Kay, who led the search for banned weapons of mass destruction in postwar Iraq, said on Monday in an opinion piece in The Washington Post.
"Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran would be a grave danger to the world. That is not what is in doubt," he wrote.
"What is in doubt is the ability (of) the U.S. government to honestly assess Iran's nuclear status and to craft a set of measures that will cope with that threat short of military action by the United States or Israel," Kay added.
President Bush justified the March 2003 invasion of Iraq by saying Saddam Hussein posed a threat because Baghdad had stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and was reviving its nuclear weapons program.
No such weapons were found. Kay told the Senate Armed Services Committee a year ago that U.S. intelligence was "almost all wrong," and later urged reorganization of the U.S. intelligence services.