The London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat published Sunday a correspondence between IAEA Chief Yukiya Amano and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon regarding Syria's nuclear efforts.
The paper alleges the Vienna and New York's communiqués came mere hours after the International Atomic Energy Agency decided to bring the issue of Damascus' atom work before the UN Security Council; as the latter was found to be in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
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The nuclear watchdog claims Syria failed to report its activities, and said that "the Deir ez Zor nuclear facility, destroyed by Israel in 2007, was linked to three other sites in Syria." However, the IAEA neglects to mention where the other three sites are.
According to the report, Amano said that the Syrian regime attempted to justify importing restricted materials between 2002-2006 – needed to establish the nuclear program – by saying they were needed for civilian purposes.
Amano also said that the IAEA had proof the Deir ez Zor facility was built with the help of North Korea, and that Syria "went to great lengths to clean and hide what was left on the site after the attack."
An IAEA team dispatched to Syria in 2008 attempted to investigate the activities of the Syrian Atomic Energy Agency, but was stonewalled – Damascus adamantly claimed that the Deir ez Zor site was used only as a "regular missiles" development site, and that the local power infrastructure could not support the operation of a nuclear facility.
Elior Levy is Ynet's Palestinian affairs correspondent
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