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Tony Blair called again before Iraq panel

Former UK Prime Minister and envoy on the Middle East Tony Blair testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding the ongoing struggle for peace in the Middle East on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 14, 2009. Blair said the roadmap to peace between Israel and Palestinians remains a two-state solution that includes Gaza and the West Bank. (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg) | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/80b940660a4443baa21619150418844c/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Former UK Prime Minister and envoy on the Middle East Tony Blair testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding the ongoing struggle for peace in the Middle East on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 14, 2009. Blair said the roadmap to peace between Israel and Palestinians remains a two-state solution that includes Gaza and the West Bank. (UPI Photo/Roger L. Wollenberg) | License Photo

LONDON, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- An inquiry investigating the British role in the Iraq war opted to recall former Prime Minister Tony Blair in for questioning, the lead investigator announced.

London is examining its role in the Iraq war from the planning stages to the departure of British forces in 2009.

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Inquiry Chairman John Chilcot said he was summoning Blair and other officials in for a second round of questioning to provide further detail to his panel.

"As we draft our report it is clear that there are some areas where we need further detail," he said in a statement.

U.S. President George W. Bush led the push to use military force to disarm Iraq in 2003. Blair told the inquiry in 2009 that if disarming Iraq led to the removal of Saddam Hussein from power, then "so be it."

Chilcot is expected to release his report on his panel's findings next year.

"I want to be absolutely clear that the protocols that we have agreed were put in place to protect national security, international relations and the personal security of individuals," he said. "They are not there to prevent embarrassment."

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The panel said it received 35 legal briefs on the matter as of Sept. 13. Chilcot said he had more evidence to gather before submitting his final report, however.

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