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Tony Blair: "It will take a generation to make Iraq safer than it was in 2003"

Mr Blair admitted that life in Iraq today was not what he had hoped for when he sanctioned the invasion by British troops 10 years ago.

He said: “There are still terrorist activities that are killing innocent people for no good reason. The country’s economy as a whole obviously is growing very strongly.

“It’s got huge amounts of oil revenue but no there are still problems… People have deliberately tried to destabilise the country and this is the problem you’ve got all over the region.”

With estimates of 100,000 civilians, and 179 British soldiers, killed since 2003, Mr Blair conceded that the price of the Iraq war had been “very, very high”.

Asked if Iraq was “safer today”, he said: “No I wouldn’t say that. But what I would say is it is safer, in my view, as a result of getting rid of Saddam. In other words I think we are in the middle of this struggle, it’s going to take a generation, it’s going to be very arduous and difficult.