Syrian site bombed by Israel was 'very likely' a reactor

By REUTERS
May 24, 2011 18:56

Confidential IAEA report supports Israel's assertion that Syria was building a reactor at Dair Alzour; Israel bombed site in 2007.

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The Marj as Sultan site, Syria, July 25, 2008.

marj as sultan reactor syria_311. (photo credit: DigitalGlobe - ISIS)

VIENNA - A Syrian site bombed by Israel in 2007 was "very likely" to have been a nuclear reactor which should have been declared, the UN atomic agency said in a report, an assertion which may lead to Damascus being referred to the UN Security Council.

The confidential report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), obtained by Reuters, threw independent weight behind Western suspicions that Syria was secretly building a reactor at the Dair Alzour site in the desert.

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The United States and its European allies may seize on the report's finding to push for a decision by the IAEA's 35-nation board, meeting on June 6-10, to report the Syrian nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council.

It would reflect growing frustration in the West over what is seen as Syria's stonewalling of an IAEA probe into Dair Alzour, which U.S. intelligence reports said was a nascent North Korean-designed reactor intended to make bomb fuel.

Israeli warplanes wrecked the desert site in September 2007 and Syria has allowed IAEA investigators to visit it only once, in June 2008, rejecting repeated requests for further visits.


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