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U.N. watchdog chief: Give Syria nuclear aid

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — The head of the nuclear watchdog for the United Nations said Syria should not be prevented from receiving aid to build a nuclear power plant.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in a statement Tuesday that there is no concrete proof that Syria violated nuclear nonproliferation rules and should not be denied aid to fund an economic feasibility and site selection study for a nuclear power plant, Reuters reported.

The United States and other Western nations do not want to award Syria the project while it is under investigation for allegedly trying to secretly build a nuclear reactor to make atomic bombs. Russia and China say refusing the aid would politicize the issue.

In a report released last week, the IAEA said it found uranium particles at a Syrian target destroyed by an Israeli air attack last year. Syria denies it was building a plant to enrich uranium. The IAEA board will decide on the Syria aid later this week.
 

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