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U.S. Presses Syria on Suspected Nuclear Site

The U.S. ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency said Syria should open to further scrutiny the site of a suspected nuclear reactor destroyed in a 2007 Israeli airstrike, United Press International reported yesterday (see GSN, July 12).

Damascus has said the facility at Dair Alzour was a military installation with no nuclear applications, but some observers have asserted the site housed a reactor that was possibly being built for military purposes with support from North Korea.

"The Syrian cooperation with the IAEA is insufficient," Ambassador Glyn Davies told the newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. U.N. nuclear watchdog personnel must be allowed to "do their work" at Dair Alzour, he added.

His comments echoed concerns aired in May by IAEA chief Yukiya Amano (see GSN, June 1).

"We are convinced that Syria is working illegally with North Korea to circumvent the nuclear nonproliferation system," Davies said (United Press International, July 15).

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