US, EU Demand Syria ‘Disprove’ Nuclear Allegations

Syria Declines to Provide Access Beyond Legal Requirements

Officials from the US and the European Union today demanded that Syria “disprove” Western allegations that they have a covert nuclear program, and slammed Syria’s refusal to grant the IAEA additional access beyond what it was legally obliged to give.

The allegations continue to focus on the discovery of trivial amounts of uranium particles foud in the Syrian desert, at the site of a 2007 Israeli attack. The US and Israel claimed, nearly a year after the attack, that the site was secretly constructing a gas-graphite nuclear reactor.

Syria has had no explanation for where the particles came from, though previously it had been suggested the IAEA inspectors may have tracked it in themselves. Today Syria’s ambassador noted that Israeli planes dropped “things and material” on the site, drawing mocking from the US.

Former IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei noted repeatedly that the organization was unable to gather sufficient evidence to draw any conclusions, noting that if Israel had given them evidence in 2007 instead of blowing up the building, they could have resolved the question within 24 hours. Syria allowed a 2008 inspection of the site, but has declined future access to the empty desert, as well as assorted military bases the US has since demanded by opened up, citing its lack of obligation to do so.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.