The IAEA issued its Wednesday report on Syria, finding no conclusive proof of a nuclear reactor at the site of a 2007 Israeli air strike but calling for more investigations. Syria has dismissed the report’s conclusions and said it considers the matter closed, with nuclear energy chief Ibrahim Othman adding “collecting three particles from the desert is not enough to say there was a reactor there at all.”
The minute uranium traces could have come to the site in any number of ways, including potentially being brought in on the equipment and clothing of the inspectors themselves. Nevertheless, US Ambassador to the IAEA Gregory Schulte touted the finding as vindication for the US claims that the site was a secret nuclear reactor.
Othman suggests the Syrian government sees no real need for additional visits to the site in question and would not be open to inspections of other military installations, citing the ongoing state of war between Syria and Israel.
With the door all-but-closed to a follow-up visit and no real evidence of anything remotely approaching wrong-doing on the part of the Syrian government, it seems that the IAEA probe is effectively stalled in its tracks. It seems unlikely however that the United States, with its long history of unsubstantiated allegations against the Iranian government, will simply let the matter drop.
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