IAEA wants to inspect three secret Syrian nuclear sites
The new IAEA report on Iran’s formerly secret uranium enrichment site at Fordo near Qom also includes a section on Syria and a demand to inspect suspicious sites there too. The inspectors clearly suspect Both Tehran and Damascus of concealing from the UN nuclear watchdog secret facilities related to nuclear weapons production. Monday, Nov. 16, the seven-page IAEA inspectors’ report on their October visit to Fordo stated clearly that Tehran’s belated declaration of its uranium enrichment site suggested that more secret sites remained to be discovered in Iran.
With regard to Syria, IAEA inspectors are to visit Damascus on Tuesday, Nov. 17, for clarifications of the conflicting explanations Syria has offered for uranium traces. They will also insist on making return visits to three military sites which Damascus has so far refused, following information received by the agency of clandestine “nuclear activity” there. debkafile‘s intelligence sources reveal that Israel hit one of three at the same time as its air force bombed the unfinished plutonium plant at Dair Alzour in 2007, although this was never admitted by Israel or Syria.
The nuclear watchdog wants a close survey of this site because it is certain the ground would yield up important clues to Syria covert nuclear weapons program. Permission has been denied for a visit there as well as a request to visit to the Euphrates River’s west bank opposite the bombed plant.
The Assad regime has claimed the uranium particles discovered near Damascus could have come from domestically produced “yellow cake” or imports of commercial uranyl nitrate undeclared to the IAEA. The Syrians also said they could have come from reference materials or from a transport container.
The report pointed out that the uranium traces found did not fit these explanations; nor could they be traced to Syria’s declared inventory.