Conventional wisdom has it that the United States invaded Iraq based on faulty intelligence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Since Iraq had used such weapons before, it presumably had gotten rid of them prior to the invasion. What I don’t recall hearing discussed is how easy it would have been for Saddam Hussein to prevent the invasion and his own destruction. All he had to do was open Iraq up fully to unlimited inspections that would have turned up no such weapons.
Even if the U.S. administration had been predisposed toward invasion, anyway, it would have lost its rationale, and Saddam would have been saved major inconvenience. Instead, he played a coy game of denial with a wink and limited inspections apparently designed to give the impression that he had the weapons. He was too clever by half.
Iran may now be playing the same dangerous game of denial with a wink. Chances are that Iran is making or about to make nuclear weapons; but, if its line about peaceful uses of nuclear energy is true or could yet be turned into truth, now is the time to stop playing games.