Icelandic support of Iraq war was top secret

The Icelandic government was included on the list of nations who supported the U.S-led invasion of Iraq two days before the military campaign began. The list was classified top secret at the time.

This is among the information contained in file 35 of 67 files on the Iraq war that the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs released today. The file is dated the 18 March 2003 — the war started two days later.

The ministry has released 67 files relating to the run-up to the Iraq war and Iceland’s involvement in the so-called Coalition of the Willing. There are a further 25 files that remain secret and have not been released to the media.

It was at-the-time Minister for Foreign Affairs, Halldor Asgrimsson and the then Prime Minister, David Oddsson who decided Iceland would support the war. The did so unilaterally.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it has not released the remaining 25 files because they relate to Iceland’s relations with other nations and are therefore legally prevented from becoming public.

It reportedly took the Icelandic authorities completely by surprise when the names of all the Coalition of the Willing were revealed on CNN television on the 18th March 2003, because repeated Icelandic requests for information about how the list would be used had yet to be answered by American officials.

Iceland’s support for the war instantly became a hot topic, with many parliamentarians calling foul, saying that they should have been the ones to decide on behalf of the country – not just two men. Even those who supported Oddsson and Asgrimsson’s right to decide, questioned why they made their decision so secretly and did not enter into dialogue with anyone else.

Representatives of all coalition countries were invited to a dinner party at Donald Rumsfeld’s house two days after the invasion began. Iceland’s ambassador to the USA and his wife attended the reward party, Visir.is reports.

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