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Middle East
IAEA doubts Syrian nuclear ability
No evidence of sufficient resources for large-scale operations, UN watchdog says.
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2008 04:18 GMT
ElBaradei said his agency found 'no evidence'
of nuclear capability [EPA]

Syria does not have the skilled personnel nor the fuel to operate a large-scale nuclear facility, the head of  International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said, casting doubt on claims that the country is building a clandestine nuclear programme.
"We have no evidence that Syria has the human resources that would allow it to carry out a large nuclear programme," Mohamad El Baradei, the IAEA director-general, told Al Arabiya television.

"We do not see Syria having nuclear fuel," he said in an interview aired by the Dubai-based television station on Tuesday.

Installation bombed

The chief of the UN nuclear watchdog said the IAEA only had pictures of a site in Syria bombed by Israel last year which resembled a nuclear facility in North Korea.

The IAEA added Syria to its proliferation watch list in April after receiving US intelligence material, including photographs suggesting the construction of a nuclear reactor with North Korean help.

An Israeli air strike destroyed the facility in September.

Syria, an ally of Iran, denies any covert nuclear activity saying the site Israel bombed was a military facility under construction.

El Baradei has said previously that Syria had agreed to a June 22-24 inspection visit to examine the allegations and has called on Syria to co-operate fully with IAEA inspectors.

Source:
Agencies
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