News / Middle East

IAEA: Syria Site 'Very Likely' Nuclear Reactor

An August 5, 2007 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows a suspected nuclear reactor site in Syria
An August 5, 2007 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows a suspected nuclear reactor site in Syria

The United Nations nuclear watchdog agency says a Syrian site bombed by Israel in 2007 was "very likely" a nuclear reactor.

In a report obtained by news agencies Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency said it concluded that the building destroyed at Dair Alzour was a nuclear reactor that should have been reported to the agency.

The IAEA finding may lead to Damascus being reported to the United Nations Security Council. Syria has long denied the facility was related to nuclear activities.  

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said last month that the target site was, in his words, "a nuclear reactor under construction." Tuesday's report is the first official assessment by the watchdog agency.  

Amano said in March that Syria has not cooperated with the agency since June 2008 to address issues related to the site.

The IAEA report comes one day after the European Union imposed sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other senior officials in a bid to pressure his government amid a crackdown on anti-government protesters.

The United States last week imposed sanctions on Mr. Assad and six of his aides, saying it was holding them personally responsible for deadly attacks by security forces.

 

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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