IAEA to refer Syrian nuclear issue to Security Council

09:13, June 10, 2011      

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) called on Syria Thursday to fully cooperate with the agency over its outstanding nuclear issues and decided to report the issue to the U.N. Security Council.

The 35-nation IAEA board voted on the United States-backed plan, with 17 in favor, six against, 11 abstentions and one absence.

The resolution focuses on a Syrian facility known as Dair Alzour site, which was suspected by the West of being a covert nuclear site for military use and reduced to rubbles by Israeli airplanes in 2007.

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said at the opening of the board meeting on Monday that "the agency (IAEA) has come to the conclusion that it is very likely that the building destroyed at the Dair Alzour site was a nuclear reactor which should have been declared to the agency."

Syria has maintained that the Dair Alzour site was a non-nuclear military installation, and, due to this nature of the site, it has no obligation to provide more information to the IAEA under its safeguards agreed with the agency. It has not allowed IAEA to send inspectors to the site since 2008.

The resolution called on Syria to "remedy urgently" its non-compliance with global nuclear non-proliferation rules, allow IAEA inspectors to revisit the suspect site, and provide all related information in order to clarify the nature of its nuclear program.

The referring of the issue to the Security Council may spark debates on possible sanction measures against Syria, analysts say.

In 2006, the United States and its western alliance used a similar procedure to send Iranian nuclear issue to the Security Council, resulting in sanctions against the country.

The proposal for the resolution has met opposition from some IAEA member states on the board, who have argued the destroyed Dair Alzour site would pose no threat to the nuclear non-proliferation regime. Meanwhile, they hold the IAEA should do more before making a definitive conclusion on the nature of Syria's nuclear program.

Source: Xinhua
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