The IAEA's Investigation of the Syrian Nuclear Site Leaves Many Questions Unanswered

The IAEA’s ex post investigation of the Syrian nuclear site bombed by Israel last September remains inconclusive in terms of whether or not the site housed a nuclear reactor. Traces of uranium were found, however. That the site remained hidden from the IAEA for so long and that the agency’s director is now calling on individual countries to share their satellite intelligence on the site indicates that the body is currently incapable of reliably fulfilling its mandate. As almost a dozen Middle Eastern countries have declared their interest in developing civilian nuclear programs, the Syrian case raises serious questions about whether the IAEA will be able ensure that civilian nuclear programs do not contribute to clandestine weapons programs.


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