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In a sharp and striking reversal, the U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Iran has stopped work on its suspected nuclear weapons program. This revelation contrasts with the Bush administration’s recent rhetoric warning that Iran’s determination to develop a nuclear weapon could spark a war, and it has raised questions — again — about the administration’s credibility.

Yet even if the threat has been exaggerated, the prospect of proliferation is no less real. The danger is that a more accurate assessment of the Iranian nuclear threat could diminish international vigilance against this danger.

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