American supermodel Christie Brinkley spoke out for a nuclear weapons-free world, saying the U.S. government's contention that Iraq had nuclear weapons "blinded much of the American public."

Speaking Thursday at a panel discussion at the U.N., the 53-year-old model said then U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's warning that an Iraq armed with weapons of mass destruction would be a mushroom cloud created "blind fear" among Americans still reeling from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"The government blinded much of the American public ... (and) this blind fear prevented us from approaching the necessary task of preventing proliferation through rational means, and war has been the result," she said.

Brinkley said "it has become abundantly clear" that the 2003 U.S.-led war against Iraq was unnecessary because U.N. weapons inspectors has effectively shut down Iraq's weapons programs.

The "good news about this failed approach," she said, is that former U.S. Cabinet ministers including Henry Kissinger, George Schultz and William Perry have said the United States "must reinvigorate efforts to obtain a nuclear weapons-free world."

"I agree strongly with this conclusion," Brinkley said.

She spoke at a panel organized by the Global Security Institute and the Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament entitled "Amplifying the Moral and Practical Missions of the United Nations: Parliamentarians, Diplomats and Engaged Citizens Working to Abolish Nuclear Weapons."