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Does Syria Have the Bomb? UN Experts Begin Investigation

Syria is getting a secret probing from UN experts in search of a hidden nuclear program. After the discreet aerial bombing of an alleged Syrian nuclear site by Israeli jets in 2007, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is sending a four person team to inspect. Although Damascus has repeatedly denied such claims, Israel and the US claim that the installation was a nascent nuclear reactor.

In April, Washington released photographs showing what they believed to be North Korean experts inside a reactor closely resembling one in Yongbyon, North Korea. Syrian officials claim that the site bombed by Israel was an unused military facility but deny it had anything to do with a reactor.

The IAEA has criticized both Israel and the US for delaying sensitive information and engaging in an act of war before inspectors had a chance to inspect any evidence. They have also asked Syria for complete transparency when they make their inspection. The IAEA visit is promoted as a fact-finding mission, though if inspectors uncover evidence of a nascent nuclear program, it could mark the start of a massive investigation similar to the agency's five-year probe into Iran's activities.

Do you think the US and Israel acted appropriately, especially if Israel is involved in secret nuclear programs of its own? Is Syria developing nuclear weapons?


Join The Conversation
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
You're implying that they did nothing under Clinton. Are you telling me that they went from being 15-20 years from having the bomb in 96 to having it 10 years later, and yet they did nothing under Clinton?
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
No, UnDave, you are wrong. NK halted their program under Clinton. They didn't build the entire thing in five years. Clinton made a deal for them to stop their progress until bonehead called them evil. You keep implying things that people don't say. I never said that they built the whole thing in five years.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
I'd say it is either a reactor or a very lovely situated swimming pool. If Syria is developing a nuclear weapon as I said in response to the same question about Iran, I don't blame them. Israel backed by the U.S. started this new arms race and now their going to have to deal with it. Given their mind set if their enemy has nuclear weapons you'd better believe that one of their considerations would be to develop one of their own. The equation is simple you both start out with fists and when your enemy buys a knife, you do the same. When your enemy buys a gun, you do the same. When you're enemy buys a bomb, you do the same. When your enemy buys a missile, you do the same and finally when your enemy develops a nuclear weapon, let’s all say it together do the same. This is called an arms race and this is precisely why Israel is to blame for the current tactical landscape of the Middle East. Honestly with some one as nutty as Ahmadinejad around why give them one more reason to develop more weapons. It is not a comforting thought but I will say with deep regret that before my life time has expired there will be a major nuclear exchange in the world. I hope I am wrong.
stephley stephley 9 years
Is Syria a threat to the U.S.? If Israel appears to be threatening its neighbors, can China move to protect its allies? Would it be okay for Pakistan to strike at Israel? Israel's nuclear program has been an open secret for decades, the Federation of American Scientists has a history on its site, so does Wikipedia and those are from a quick check, there are pages more. The AFS includes a graphic from unclassified CIA documents listing Israel as having 60-80 weapons in its nuclear inventory in 1999.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
My question is, when has Isreal threatened China? Also where is the proof that Isreal has a nuclear program? I agree that multi-national organizations are only as strong as the member nations allow. I don't think everyone in some mno's are there for the benefit of the entire organization, just themselves (US included).
stephley stephley 9 years
So, what if China decides that Israel's nuclear program is a threat to its allies - will you be supportive if IT decides the IAEA isn't up to the job and takes Israel's nukes out? All these multi-national organizations are only as strong as member nations allow.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Really? They started and completed a nuclear program in less than 5 years? Clinton kept them talking, and while they talked, behind the back door they continued their work.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
No. They never said that about NK. We were appraised of their program since the beginning. Clinton kept it in check because he talked to them and paid them off. When bonehead got into office he called them the Axis of Evil and, hey, guess what? They started a nuclear program and completed it.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
And that's what they said about N.K., until they, quite suddenly and surprisingly, had a nuke program.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I don't think Syria has basic cable, let alone nuclear capabilities. Who needs facts when you can bomb anyone you want whenever you want?
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
As poorly as the IAEA has handled North Korea with regards to their nuke program, I can understand why the US and Isreal went alone. Why whould the prospective targets wait for negotiations while the people behind the button inch closer and closer to having the means?
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
that isnt just a pool for the dear leaders giant head to cool off in? its not filled with champagne and gold?
stephley stephley 9 years
No I don't think the U.S. and Israel acted appropriately. Israel's own nuclear program is a poorly kept secret; the action undermines the IAEA while the U.S. and Israel are the first to complain about its ineffectiveness; and they strengthen Arab concerns that the U.S. and Israel are allied to dominate them.
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