A former senior Iraqi foreign ministry official who served under the late president Saddam Hussein has spoken to NHK ahead of Monday's 20th anniversary of the start of the US-led war in Iraq.
Former vice foreign minister Mohamed Hamoud said Hussein was the only person who made decisions while he was president, indicating that nobody in the Iraqi government could prevent the war.
He said the Iraqi people had initially thought the United States would help topple Hussein and establish a real democratic government in Iraq.
He added that the US occupation brought no benefit to the Iraqi people, and their hope quickly turned into disappointment.
Hamoud said the United States used weapons of mass destruction as an excuse to invade Iraq. He said United Nations officials even searched Hussein's bedroom before the war but found nothing.
He also noted that the United States used sectarianism and tribalism to control Iraq. He added that Iraqis are still suffering from the effects of that policy as it brought about divisions among the Iraqi people and made the economy stagnant.
Hamoud said the US-led Iraq war opened the door to other kinds of invasions, including Russia's ongoing aggression in Ukraine. He warned that more invasions may follow.
He described the UN Security Council as a "dead body," saying it could not stop the United States from using force against Iraq. He said no one can say no to superpowers like the US.