Blair: 'No doubt' Iraq had WMD
Blair: "There can be no doubt at all that those weapons existed."
President Bush defended his stewardship of the U.S.
LONDON, England (CNN) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair Wednesday deflected a call for an independent inquiry into his country's role in the Iraq war, saying there was "absolutely no doubt" about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
In a typically lively parliament session, Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy asked Blair to comment on U.S. President George W. Bush's State of the Union address, in which the U.S. leader referred to "weapons of mass destruction-related program activities" identified by the Iraq Survey Group.
Blair assured parliament that the survey group, under David Kay, continues to search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as well as "evidence of concealment of those programs."
In his Tuesday night address, Bush cited Kay's report as support for the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
"Had we failed to act, the dictator's (Saddam Hussein's) weapons of mass destruction programs would continue to this day," Bush said.
Kennedy dismissed Bush's remarks about Iraq as "rhetoric" and called for an independent inquiry "into the entire basis on which this country (Britain) was taken into that war in Iraq."
Blair urged parliament to wait for the survey group's final report.
"When they come up with their final report, then we can debate it," Blair said. The search by Kay's team is expected to continue for another three to six months.
Blair insisted his government was right to send troops into Iraq.
"There can be no doubt at all that those weapons existed, absolutely no doubt because that is said not just by this government or the United States government, it was set out in detail over 12 years by the United Nations and by United Nations inspectors," Blair said.