Richard Branson: Mandela Tried To Stop The Iraq War

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Billionaire airline owner Richard Branson told CNN on Friday that the late South African leader Nelson Mandela was “incredibly angry about the invasion of Iraq” in 2003 and singlehandedly tried to stop it before it started.

“He was incredibly angry about the invasion of Iraq. I spoke with him before the invasion of Iraq. And actually sent a plane to take him to Iraq to see Saddam Hussein to try to persuade Saddam Hussein to step down. Him and Kofi Annan were going on a secret mission,” Branson said. “The day the plane was due to leave South Africa, sadly the bombing started and they never had the chance to try to get Saddam Hussein to step down in the interest of his country and the people. He was trying all the time to try to resolve conflicts, rather than encourage the starting of conflicts to resolve problems.”

Watch a video of Branson discussing Mandela on CNN below. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com
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