Diplomats: Syria has blocked new visit by IAEA

August 9, 2008 10:57


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Diplomats say Syria has blocked a new visit by International Atomic Energy Agency experts investigating allegations that Damascus has a secret nuclear program. The diplomats say the request for a follow-up visit to one in June was rejected late last month. They also tell The Associated Press that Washington is lobbying IAEA board members to oppose a Syrian push for a seat on the 35-nation board. The board normally makes decisions by consensus and a seat held by Damascus could thus hamper any investigation into its alleged nuclear activities. Lack of IAEA access could cripple chances of establishing whether Damascus hid a North-Korean built nuclear program, including a nearly completed plutonium-producing reactor bombed last year by Israel.

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