Urge Damascus to Come Clean on Nuclear Activity

[Washington Institute for Near East Policy] Michael Singh - The International Atomic Energy Agency's recent report on its investigation into Syria's nuclear activities reinforces concerns that the Assad regime was secretly building a nuclear reactor until it was destroyed in late 2007. According to the U.S. intelligence community's publicly released 2009 threat assessment, the Assad regime, despite its professed desire for better relations with Washington, has maintained its interference in Lebanon, support for Palestinian terrorist groups, and close ties with Iran; further, it has "increased substantially" its military support for Hizbullah. The extent to which the U.S. can persuade Syria to change its attitude toward the IAEA investigation from one of recalcitrance to one of voluntary cooperation will serve as a concrete test of Damascus' willingness to change its ways and mend fences with the international community. The writer, an associate fellow of The Washington Institute, is former senior director for Middle East affairs on the National Security Council.

2009-03-03 06:00:00

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