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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

U.S. Criticizes IAEA For Helping Syria Build Nuclear Power Plant

Washington has criticized the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for helping Syria build a nuclear power station while the country is being investigated for its alleged secret nuclear reactor.

"It is wholly inappropriate, we believe, given the fact that Syria is under investigation by the IAEA for building a nuclear reactor, outside the bounds of its international commitments," Voice of America quoted State Department spokesman Sean McCormack as saying.

The statement was issued following IAEI chief Mohamed ElBaradei's pronouncements that the UN nuclear watchdog will continue technical assistance to Damascus until the accusations against the Syrian government is confirmed. ElBaradei said Syria is entitled to the $350,000 assistance package for building a civilian power reactor under the IAEA rules.

The IAEA is still investigating if a facility in northern Syrian bombed and destroyed by Israeli warplanes in September is indeed a nuclear reactor. Damascus has denied that the facility is a nuclear reactor.

The issue has divided IAEA members with the U.S., France, Canada and the European Union calling for the aid to be suspended while Russia, China and developing countries support ElBaradei's position.

(Source: Gant Daily)

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