In perhaps the ultimate example of the compartmentalization of US foreign policy, officials lashed Syria for not allowing the IAEA access to Deir al-Zor, accusing them of using the massive ongoing civil war against US-backed rebels as an “excuse.”
Deir al-Zor was a site bombed by Israeli warplanes in 2007. The US has since claimed it was a nuclear reactor, and while Syria allowed the IAEA one visit, they have expressed annoyance at the repeated demands for return access since they didn’t really find anything.
Not that they necessarily could at any rate. The city of Deir al-Zor fell to rebels weeks ago, and with most of the regime’s troops occupied in contesting control over Aleppo and Damascus they can’t exactly go re-conquer a province just to get IAEA inspectors in.
Former IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei was extremely critical of the Israeli attack on Deir al-Zor, saying that destroying the site before telling them of their suspicions made finding corroborating evidence all but impossible.
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