Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 17:38 pm (KSA) 14:38 pm (GMT)

Damascus says IAEA report proves nothing

Syria says it will not allow another visit to the suspected site (File)
Syria says it will not allow another visit to the suspected site (File)

Syria's nuclear energy chief said on Friday a U.N. watchdog report on an alleged secret Syrian nuclear site bombed by Israel proved nothing and the investigation should be closed.

Ibrahim Othman said he expected Syria would stick by a written agreement with U.N. inspectors that permitted only one visit to the al-Kibar site -- which took place last June -- and "we will not allow another visit".

An International Atomic Energy Agency report issued on Wednesday said a Syrian complex destroyed in a 2007 Israeli air strike bore a number of characteristics resembling those of a nuclear reactor and U.N. inspectors had found a significant number of uranium traces in desert sands there.

The findings, based on satellite pictures and soil and water samples taken by U.N. investigators, were not enough to conclude a reactor was there but the findings were serious and warranted more investigation and Syrian transparency, the IAEA said.

No other country would allow any person to visit a restricted military site, "just because he would like to see it," Othman said, after IAEA inspectors briefed members about a probe into Syria's alleged illicit nuclear activities.

It was up to Syria's military authorities to decide whether to allow IAEA inspectors into the site, he said.

Othman also insisted Damascus would continue to cooperate with the IAEA.

"If the information required belongs to the accusation, the allegation, certainly we will supply them," he said.

"But we are talking about military activities, military bases, and military buildings. Does anyone give military information to the other countries? How can we give any information about the site, what it was, when we are saying it was a military site?" Othman told reporters.

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