Syria agreed this week to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency investigate an alleged nuclear site bombed last September by Israel. IAEA inspectors visited the site and collected soil samples earlier this week.
The IAEA criticized Israel for the bombing, saying any intelligence that Syria was developing a nuclear program should have been brought to the agency. The agency also criticized the US, which only recently shared intelligence it had on the site, for not sharing the intelligence sooner. The Israeli bombing was tacitly approved by the Bush administration, and was a violation of both nation’s obligations under international law.
Both Israel and the US are members of the United Nations. The UN Charter states that its purpose is to “maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measure for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace”.
To this end, “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state”.
According to the German magazine Der Spiegel, Syria “might have been cooperating” with Iran “on nuclear weapons research.” The magazine cited “intelligence reports” that “the Syrian facility at Al Kibar that Israeli jets bombed last September was the site of a secret military project. The report states that North Korean, Syrian and Iranian scientists were working side by side to build a reactor to produce weapons-grade plutonium.”
The magazine did not elaborate on what, if any, actual evidence existed to support this claim.