Did Iran suspend its nuclear weapons program because of the invasion of Iraq?

According to the NIE released Monday, Iran suspended its illicit nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003.

About six months after the US-led invasion of Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein. And only two months before Libya decided to abandon its pursuit of nuclear arms.

Did the war with Iraq prompt Iran to shelve its nuclear weapons program? Maybe, maybe not. The timing certainly begs the question, but what’s odd about the media coverage over the last few days – and I’ve read a half-dozen stories on the NIE in the New York Times, the Boston Globe and on the CNN website – I have yet to see a single reference to even the possibility of a connection.

But what if the NIE had reported that Iran initiated a covert nuclear weapons program six months after the invasion of Iraq – think we’d hear about a connection then? We’d be hearing of little else.

About Jack Coleman