"All three countries discussed in this report have short-range ballistic missiles. Iran and North Korea also have medium-range ballistic missiles; North Korea has intermediate-range ballistic missiles as well. North Korea has tested nuclear weapons on three occasions; Iran and Syria's nuclear programs have raised suspicions that those countries are pursuing nuclear weapons. However, Iran has, according to the IC [intelligence community], halted its nuclear weapons program, and Syria does not appear to have an active nuclear weapons program. Congress has held numerous hearings regarding these countries' nuclear and missile programs. It has also passed legislation providing for sanctions on countries whose entities assist Iran, North Korea, and Syria to obtain weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missile delivery systems. For example, the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA, P.L. 106-178) imposes penalties on countries whose companies' exports assist the efforts of Iran, North Korea, and Syria to acquire WMD and missile delivery systems. Congress has also established reporting requirements concerning these countries' missile and nuclear programs. Congress may wish to consider requiring additional reporting from the executive branch on WMD proliferation because the number of unclassified reports to Congress on WMD-related issues has decreased considerably in recent years. This report describes the key elements of a nuclear weapons program; explains the available information regarding cooperation among Iran, North Korea, and Syria on ballistic missiles and nuclear technology; and discusses some specific issues for Congress."
CRS Report for Congress, R43480