Former Prime Minister Davíð Oddsson and former Foreign Minister Halldór Ásgrímsson appear to have been intent to support the invasion of Iraq despite misgivings from within their own coalition, a preliminary investigation shows.
It is already common knowledge that Davíð and Halldór supported the invasion of Iraq without the consultation of parliament – as required by law. Parliament recently put forward a proposal, which is expected to pass, that would launch an investigation into how precisely Iceland ended up as one of the countries in the “coalition of the willing”, which supported the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Stöð 2 reports that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has begun a preliminary investigation, and uncovered some 90 separate documents related to the invasion.
Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson told reporters that the first documents they uncovered reach back to January 2003, but the decision to support the invasion was not taken until mid-March the same year.
Össur said that they uncovered more documents than they expected, many of them memorandums that show communications between Icelandic authorities and US officials.
“We can say that there are about 80 or 90 documents,” Össur said. “A few of them are of interest. And I think in some of them we see that [Icelandic] officials had a very strong position about this matter, which wasn’t exactly the same as the position of those who later took the decision [to support the invasion].” This would indicate that even within the group of conservative ministers who ruled Iceland at that time, there was strong opposition to supporting the invasion.