ElBaradei - 'Inconclusive'
Photo: AFP

ElBaradei confirms traces of uranium found in Syria

Head of UN nuclear watchdog agency says report on Damascus' covert nuclear program due to be submitted is 'inconclusive,' dismisses uranium traces found at Al-Khibar site as insufficient evidence of efforts to develop atomic weapon

The head of the UN's nuclear watchdog says traces of uranium were found at a site bombed by Israel that the US says was an almost completed plutonium-producing reactor.


International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei says the source of the uranium was inconclusive.


He made the comments Monday, following a speech at an economic conference in Dubai in which he called for greater international dialogue. Diplomats told the AP earlier this month that soil samples collected at the bombed site revealed minute traces of processed uranium.


ElBaradei says the agency hasn't yet decided whether there "was a reactor or not a reactor." He added that he would like to see "more transparency" from Syria.


ElBaradei said both Syria and Israel should cooperate with the inspection by the IAEA into the Syria's alleged covert nuclear program.


The report will show that "we still have work to do," he said.


"We are having a report by the end of this week with regards to Syria ... It's still not conclusive," he said. "We are taking the issue very seriously."


Syria has denied any wrongdoing. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said last week he was stunned by media reports that the IAEA had found secret atomic material on a site.


"Such information hawked by anonymous diplomats even before ... ElBaradei has presented his report have the sole purpose of exerting pressure on Syria," Muallem said.


פרסום ראשון: 11.17.08, 17:08
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