Diplomats: Syria stalling on IAEA inspection

Damascus reported to want more details on the proposed inspection of its alleged nuclear reactor.

Syrian Reactor graphic (photo credit: Channel 10)
Syrian Reactor graphic
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Syria has not yet accepted a request by the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit the site bombed by the IAF on September 6, which Washington says was a nuclear reactor, Reuters reported Friday. The news agency quoted diplomats in Vienna as saying that Damascus was stalling its approval of the UN delegation visit, demanding more details on the proposed inspection. Syrian atomic energy chief Ibrahim Othman came to Vienna earlier this month to speak with IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei on the matter, but the two did not agree on the timing or nature of a visit, diplomats said. The agency received a letter from Syria several days ago asking for more details on the trip, one diplomat said. The IAEA has replied and is now waiting for Damascus's response, he added. Syria's ambassador to the UN said late last month that Syria had "nothing to hide" and would cooperate with the IAEA inquiry. According to Reuters, US envoy to the IAEA Gregory Schulte said on Wednesday that the Syrian authorities "have a lot of explaining to do," as the bombed Syrian facility was not a typical power or research reactor.