IAEA report: Syria reveals past nuclear experiments
Syria has revealed details about past nuclear experiments to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA said Monday in a document that otherwise reported no cooperation from the Middle Eastern country, dpa reported.
Syria's lack of transparency has so far prevented the Vienna-based IAEA from fully investigating a site that Israel bombed in 2007 on suspicion it was a secret nuclear reactor being built with North Korean help.
In the course of the probe, Syrian officials admitted between March and May that experiments to convert and irradiate uranium chemicals were carried out in 2004.
"They failed to report those," a senior diplomat familiar with the IAEA's work in Syria said.
But he explained that it was too early to say whether these experiments were really purely small scientific projects, as Syria claims, or whether additional work was done.
The experiments reported by the IAEA were carried out at a small research reactor near Damascus which had been declared to the nuclear agency.
But Syria's leaders have so far denied that the bombed site known as al-Kibar or Dair Alzour was a second reactor.
The IAEA has visited the site once and found man-made uranium particles there, as well as evidence pointing to a nuclear site. But inspectors have neither been allowed to see the rubble removed after the bombing, nor have they had access to key documents and officials.
"Furthermore, with time, some of the necessary information may deteriorate or be lost entirely," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano wrote in the report, urging Syria to cooperate.