The British government was advised against publicly criticising a report estimating that 655,000 Iraqis had died due to the war, the BBC has learnt.
Iraqi Health Ministry figures put the toll at less than 10% of the total in the survey, published in the Lancet.
But the Ministry of Defence's chief scientific adviser said the survey's methods were "close to best practice" and the study design was "robust".
Another expert agreed the method was "tried and tested".
What a shame that over 650,000 people have died because our government invaded a country that WASN'T an imminent threat! None of those 650,000 people was even remotely a threat.