IAEA Report Raises Suspicions on Syrian Site

By Peter Crail

A Syrian facility destroyed by Israel last year could have been a nuclear reactor, a Nov. 19 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report determined. Although the IAEA has not completed its investigation, its early findings appear to support U.S. claims made in April that Syria was constructing a nuclear reactor in secret with North Korean assistance at a site called Dair al Zour. (See ACT, May 2008.) According to the report, the investigation faces serious challenges due to the bombing of the facility by Israel in September 2007 and the subsequent bulldozing and construction over the site by Syria. (See ACT, November 2007.) Moreover, due to the lack of information provided to the agency regarding the facility, IAEA inspectors did not arrive until nearly 10 months after the facility was destroyed.

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