What would you do if A Q Khan wrote to you?
Bashar Assad, Syria’s president, told a German newspaper that he rebuffed a Pakistani offer to sell him nuclear technology in 2001. Like Saddam Hussein before him, he too suspected a ‘sting’ operation.
Q:Does Syria have contacts to atomic engineers of Pakistan?
Assad: Actual was it like that: At the beginning of of 2001 brought someone a letter of a certain Khan (the father of the atom bomb of Pakistan; Note). We did not know whether the letter was genuine or a falsification of the Israelis, who into a trap wanted to lure us. We rejected anyhow. We were not interested to have nuclear weapons or a nuclear reactor. We never met Khan.[Die Presse/Translation by Babelfish]
A Q Khan’s offer, then, lacked credibility. That begs the question: how credible, in turn, is Assad’s denial of an interest in nuclear weapons?