'IAEA suspects Syrian nuclear sites'

IAEA demands urgent imm

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has demanded an urgent and immediate visit to suspected nuclear sites in Syria, Channel 10 reported on Monday night, citing foreign media reports. According to the report, IAEA inspectors discovered enriched uranium in three sites besides Dir Azur, where IAF jets destroyed an alleged reactor in September 2007. These findings have led the UN nuclear watchdog to suspect that Syria has uranium stockpiles. The main cause for suspicion was the discovery of nuclear material traces near a small research nuclear reactor outside Damascus, the TV channel reported. When the evidence was presented to the Syrians, they failed to provide convincing explanations, senior IAEA officials were quoted as saying. Agency inspectors who visited the Dir Azur site after the 2007 bombing found highly processed plutonium, so the uranium traces may indicate Syria's nuclear program was more advanced than was previously assessed. It was not yet clear whether authorities in Damascus would allow the inspectors into the alleged nuclear sites.