Israel accuses IAEA chief of bias on Syria

June 18, 2009 13:00

Israel bluntly accused the head of the UN atomic agency of political bias Thursday in his probe of Syria's nuclear program, in an unusual direct attack on the agency chief. The comments by Israel Michael, Israel's chief delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency, briefly lifted the diplomatic curtain shrouding the agency and revealed the tensions surrounding Middle East issues that often pit Israel - and the US - against Islamic IAEA member nations. While diplomats from nations allied with Israel occasionally suggest there is IAEA bias in favor of Iran and Syria - the two Mideast nations being probed by the agency - they do so only on condition of anonymity, in keeping with diplomatic convention that dictates that UN agencies and its heads are above the political fray.

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