Syrian nuclear site.
(photo credit: ISIS)
NEW YORK – The International Atomic Energy Agency voted at its meeting in Vienna
on Thursday to issue a condemnation of Syria due to an undeclared nuclear
reactor. Syria has previously said that the Deir Alzour site, destroyed by
Israel in 2007, was a non-nuclear military site.
voted to condemn Syria, and six voted against it, including China and Russia.
Eleven countries abstained, and one country was absent from the vote.
Wednesday four European Union nations introduced a draft resolution to the
United Nations Security Council condemning Syria for its actions against citizen
At a press conference after the meeting, UK Ambassador to the
UN Mark Lyall said the main elements of the British draft resolution,
co-sponsored by France, Portugal and Germany, demand an immediate end to
violence and condemn the systematic human rights abuses taking place in the
The resolution demands that the Syrian authorities “immediately
lift the siege of affected towns. It calls for steps to address the legitimate
aspirations of the Syrian people, which include reforms that would allow genuine
political participation, inclusive dialogue and the effective exercise of
fundamental freedoms, and it calls upon all states to exercise vigilance and
prevent the supply of arms to Syria,” Lyall said.
Lyall anticipated that
the body would vote on the resolution in the next few days after further
closed-door consultations and amendments. China and Russia, Syria’s strongest
allies on the Security Council, could conceivably exercise their veto over the
Lyall would not address this possibility. “We hope
that all members of the Security Council will be able to support this text,” he
“We strongly condemn the abuse of human rights by the Syrian
government and Syrian authorities and indeed the killings of the protesters,
innocent protesters in Syria, but we also are recognizing the fact that in
recent days, there have been members of the Syrian armed forces who have been
killed,” Lyall said.
In a separate press conference on Wednesday, US
Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice noted that she had “expressed on behalf of the
United States our strong support for that text and I underscored that the United
States has consistently and repeatedly condemned the horrific actions that the
Syrian regime has taken, using violence of an extreme fashion against its own
people and peaceful protesters.”
“We have imposed a series of tough
sanctions of our own on top of the sanctions we already had in place, including
on President Assad and those closest to him,” Rice said. “We will continue our
efforts in various fora to make clear that reform must take place and must take
place peacefully and that the violence must stop.”