WASHINGTON (JTA) –The United States said Syria must allow further inspection of materials taken from a site suspected of once housing a nuclear reactor.
At a meeting Wednesday of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, the U.S. ambassador to the organization, Gregory Schulte, said Syria must allow inspectors to examine debris that was removed from the site, which Israel bombed in 2007, claiming it was a North Korean-designed nuclear reactor.
Three other military sites in which Syria, according to photos, had removed equipment and made other adjustments after the IAEA had made a request to visit them must also be examined, said Schulte, Reuters reported.
Schulte said the inspections are necessary after a recently released IAEA report noted that uranium samples had been found on a June trip to the area.
"We must understand why such material — material not previously declared to the IAEA — existed in Syria and this can only happen if Syria provides the cooperation requested," he said.
The IAEA report said Syria had ignored many requests by the organization for further access to the site and other evidence to support its claim that the area was only the home to a conventional military building.