LONDON, June 29 (UPI) -- International lawyers are invited to weigh in on the justification used by London to join the military invasion of Iraq, an inquiry director said Tuesday.
London is examining its role in the Iraq war from the planning stages shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States to the withdrawal of British forces in 2009.
The inquiry committee met privately with officials in the United States during its 5-day visit to Washington and Boston in May. Officials briefed during the May sessions included chief weapons inspectors Charles Duelfer and David Kay.
John Chilcot, the British director of the inquiry, during his opening statements Tuesday to launch the latest round of briefings welcomed international probes into the British role in the war.
"The inquiry has issued an open invitation to international lawyers to comment on the grounds relied on by the British government in undertaking military action in Iraq," he said.
Legal representatives to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair during testimony last year argued that London was basing its decision to use force against Iraq on the so-called revival argument. That argument said U.N. resolutions authorizing military force during the Persian Gulf War were still in force.
Hans Blix, the former U.N. weapons monitor for Iraq, joins a long list of representatives scheduled to appear publicly before the inquiry during its latest session.
Chilcot said Tuesday that the goal of the inquiry was "to deliver a reliable and authoritative report about the U.K.'s decision to take military action in Iraq and the events that followed; and to identify lessons for the future."