Statement by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei

2008/06

The IAEA Secretariat was provided with information by the United States on 24 April claiming that the installation destroyed by Israel in Syria last September was a nuclear reactor. According to this information, the reactor was not yet operational and no nuclear material had been introduced into it. The Agency will treat this information with the seriousness it deserves and will investigate the veracity of the information. Syria has an obligation under its Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA to report the planning and construction of any nuclear facility to the Agency. The Director General deplores the fact that this information was not provided to the Agency in a timely manner, in accordance with the Agency┬┤s responsibilities under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to enable it to verify its veracity and establish the facts. Under the NPT, the Agency has a responsibility to verify any proliferation allegations in a non-nuclear weapon State party to the NPT and to report its findings to the IAEA Board of Governors and the Security Council, as required. In light of the above, the Director General views the unilateral use of force by Israel as undermining the due process of verification that is at the heart of the non-proliferation regime.

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