UNSC to rebuke Syria despite Russian opposition

UN nuclear watchdog and Security Council prepare to rebuke Syria for covert nuclear operations; Russia and China set to veto.

By REUTERS, JPOST.COM STAFF
June 9, 2011 15:51
1 minute read.
Syrian nuclear site

Syrian nuclear site. (photo credit: ISIS)

 
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Russia said on Thursday it would vote against a Western-led push at the UN nuclear watchdog to report Syria to the Security Council for covert atomic work, according to diplomats attending a closed-door meeting.

China was also expected to vote against a draft resolution at the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency rebuking the Arab state for three years of stonewalling of a probe into a site bombed by Israel in 2007.

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Also Thursday, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin met with outgoing Russian Ambassador to Israel Petr Stegniy, hoping to convince the government in Moscow not to veto the upcoming UN Security Council resolution aimed at Syria's covert nuclear program.

"Syria's actions are completely contrary to the values of the free world," Rivlin said. "Not everything is political. This matter is of common interest to all parties involved. It is a shared interest of every state in the free world."

US intelligence reports have said Dair Alzour was a nascent, North Korean-designed reactor intended to produce plutonium for atomic bombs before it was bombed to rubble. Syria denies the charge.

The IAEA, the Vienna-based UN atomic agency, gave independent backing to the US allegation in a report last month which said it was "very likely" to have been a reactor.

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Western diplomats said they believed they still had enough support for the IAEA board to adopt the text, which would require a simple majority.

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