"When we had the strife in Lebanon and other places, we called that a civil war - this is much worse," Annan said in an interview with BBC television and radio to be broadcast on Monday.I had to get this off of Al Jazeera in English.
Annan said he agreed with Iraqis who say that life is worse now than it was under Saddam.
"I think they are right in the sense of the average Iraqi's life," he said.
"If I were an average Iraqi obviously I would make the same comparison - that they had a dictator who was brutal but they had their streets, they could go out, their kids could go to school and come back home without a mother or father worrying, 'Am I going to see my child again?" Annan said.
Since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, which was not approved by the UN Security Council and Annan subsequently called "illegal", divisions among UN members have sharpened.
"I really believed that we could have stopped the war and that if we had worked a bit harder, given the inspectors a bit more time, we could have," Annan said.