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Mandela was furious with Blair, claims book

Nelson Mandela got so furious at Britain joining the 2003 invasion of Iraq that he made a blistering phone call to then Welsh Secretary Peter Hain, a new book has revealed.

books Updated: Sep 13, 2010 16:49 IST

Nelson Mandela got so furious at Britain joining the 2003 invasion of Iraq that he made a blistering phone call to then Welsh Secretary Peter Hain, a new book has revealed.

The former South African President, considered to be one of the world's most revered statesmen, was particularly angry at the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair, according to the book, Mandela: The Story of a Universal Hero.

In his book, author Hain, also a veteran anti-apartheid campaigner who knows Mandela well, said he was "breathing fire down the line".

Hain recalled: "He said, 'A big mistake, Peter, a very big mistake. It is wrong. Why is Tony doing this after all his support for Africa? This will cause huge damage internationally'."

Hain added: "I had never heard Nelson Mandela so angry."