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Daily Israel Report

U.S.: Syria Showing 'Contempt' for Atomic Probe

Assad refusing to cooperate over a suspected undeclared reactor destroyed by Israel in 2007.
By AFP
First Publish: 9/14/2012, 2:44 PM

Picture of Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad
Picture of Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad
israel news photo: Flash 90

Syria is showing "contempt" towards the UN atomic watchdog by refusing to cooperate over a suspected undeclared reactor destroyed by Israel in 2007, the U.S. envoy to the agency said Friday.

President Bashar al-Assad's government "is using its brutal repression of the Syrian people as an excuse for not cooperating with the agency's investigation," Robert Wood told a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's board.

Syria's "rejection of the international community's calls to remedy its non-compliance shows its continuing contempt for this board and for the system of international safeguards," he said, according to a text of his remarks.

The IAEA board reported Syria to the UN Security Council in June 2011 after watchdog head Yukiya Amano concluded that the Dair Alzour desert site was "very likely" a nuclear reactor which should have been declared to the IAEA under Damascus's safeguards agreement with the agency.

The IAEA says information provided to the agency suggested that the alleged reactor, which was still under construction when it was bombed by Israeli aircraft in September 2007, was being built with North Korean assistance.