Blair On Iran: Change Is "Fundamental"

Katie Couric Tony Blair CBS

In an online exclusive interview today with Katie Couric, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the change that's happening in Iran is "fundamental."

Blair said, "even if the regime manages to suppress this expression of popular will now, I think its roots have gone down and those will bear fruit again in the future."

Topics discussed in the wide ranging interview include Blair's thoughts on Iraq, the role of new technology in the Iranian protests, President Obama's handling of the situation in Iran, the Middle East, and comprehensive health care.

Blair was asked about Britain's upcoming inquiry about the run up to the Iraq war, and whether these hearings should be made public. Blair said, "I'm questioned about Iraq in public the whole time. I have been for years. But the important thing about the inquiry is it's actually about the lessons learned."

Blair stuck to his guns regarding his support of President Bush and his position on Iraq. He said, "I always made it clear I believed definitively that after September the 11th, we had to take a completely different view of the security threat that we had. And we had to act. And we had to be prepared to stand up and fight for what we believe in."

Blair was asked, via Twitter, if the world's general impression of the U.S. has changed after electing President Obama. He responded, "it's given people a fresh look at America in a different way. That's a positive."
When another Twitter questioner asked about nationalized healthcare, Blair replied, "what most countries around the world are trying to do today is to combine the universal nature of the state run system, with the more flexible, competitive choice based system…"

In response to a question about the financial scandal in his own country, Blair said, "I've learned that anything I say is..taken down and used in evidence against me in terms of interference in UK politics."

Blair served as British Prime Minister for 10 years.


Watch the full interview:


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