4 October 2003

Iraq war: PM sticks to his guns

Prime Minister John Howard has defended the federal government's decision to take part in the war against Iraq, despite the latest report that experts searching the country have still not found any weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Howard said when the government decided to join the US-led coalition that invaded Iraq it had clear intelligence assessments that the country had a weapons of mass destruction capability.

'That was unambiguous, it was clear and that was the basis of the judgement that we made at the time we joined the coalition, and I don't retreat from that one iota,' he said on Friday.

The head of the US inspectors who have been searching Iraq said in Washington on Thursday that they had not yet found any actual weapons of mass destruction, although they had found evidence that Saddam Hussein's regime intended to make such weapons.

The Australian Financial Review carries the most infelicitous headline yet on the ISG report. The prime minister cannot be sticking to his guns. No guns were found.

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