Syria “very likely” had a secret nuclear weapons program, according to an International Atomic Energy Agency report released yesterday, which concludes that the Dair Alzour site Israel bombed in 2007 was almost certainly an under-construction nuclear reactor. The allegations themselves are old news—US intelligence agencies presented evidence of them in 2008—but the report could provide grounds for UN Security Council measures against Syria, the LA Times reports.
“The agency finally weighed in and came up with a conclusion that most governments came up with years ago,” says one former weapons inspector. But “you can’t ignore the timing. … This is throwing down the gauntlet against Syria.” With Bashar Assad’s regime violently cracking down following mass protests, the West is itching to take action. “As soon as the report is out, we will begin” drafting a resolution to refer the matter to the Security Council, one Western diplomat promises. Click for more on the IAEA's report on Iran. (Read more International Atomic Energy Agency stories.)