Report: Syrian nuke site aided Iran program

Sunday, June 22, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

The suspected Syrian nuclear facility that Israel bombed last September had in fact been built by Syria with North Korean assistance in order to facilitate Iran's nuclear program, according to the German magazine Der Spiegel.

The magazine cited intelligence reports that confirmed the site was a clandestine nuclear reactor, where North Korean engineers were aiding Iran in producing plutonium for use in nuclear weapons.

Iran has managed to enrich a significant amount of uranium, but had no experience with plutonium, and could not risk having the North Koreans come to Iran to teach them there.

Syria maintains that the site bombed by Israel was a military installation, but not a nuclear facility. The site was quickly razed by Syria following the bombing, further solidifying suspicions and something illegal was taking place there.

International Atomic Energy Ageny (IAEA) representatives were scheduled to being investigating the site on Sunday, though it is believed the Syrians have done a thorough job in cleaning up any evidence.

Taking aim at Israeli earlier this month, IAEA Mohammed ElBaradei said that he had reviewed evidence provided to him by Damascus, and had concluded that Syria had neither the technical know-how or the nuclear fuel needed to construct and run a reactor. However, if North Korea was involved, and if the reactor was only a support facility for Iran's nuclear program, that would explain the holes ElBaradai believes he found in the Israeli intelligence.

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