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JSPES, Vol. 28, No. 4 (Winter 2003 )
pp. 423-449

Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction:Iraq and Iran

Gawdat Bahgat

For most of the 1990s and the early 2000s the international community was concerned about finding and destroying Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Following the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003 the focus has shifted to the neighboring Iran. This essay examines the acquisition of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons and the missiles that deliver them in both countries. It discusses each country's motives for seeking such capabilities and attempts a history of their arsenals. Finally, the paper analyzes American efforts to prevent, or at least slow, the proliferation of WMD in Iran in the aftermath of the 2003 war.