Former US envoy to the United Nations John Bolton said in an interview published in France that the United States has "no strategic interest" in a united Iraq.
Bolton, who resigned last month from his temporary appointment as UN ambassador, also told the French daily Le Monde that US President George W. Bush's administration acted too slowly to hand power over to Iraqis after toppling Saddam Hussein in 2003.
"We did a disservice to Iraqis by depriving them of political leaders," Bolton was quoted as saying, adding that the Coalition Provisional Authority that initially ran Iraq allowed terrorists to regroup.
Bolton suggested in the interview that the United States shouldn't necessarily keep Iraq from splitting up. The Bush administration and the Iraqi government have said they don't want Iraq divided.