Syria's Covert Nuclear Activities

[White House] Until Sept. 6, 2007, the Syrian regime was building a covert nuclear reactor in its eastern desert capable of producing plutonium. We are convinced that North Korea assisted Syria's covert nuclear activities. We have good reason to believe that reactor, which was damaged beyond repair, was not intended for peaceful purposes. In defiance of its international obligations, Syria did not inform the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the construction of the reactor, and, after it was destroyed, the regime moved quickly to bury evidence of its existence. This cover-up only served to reinforce our confidence that this reactor was not intended for peaceful activities. The Syrian regime must come clean before the world regarding its illicit nuclear activities. The Syrian regime supports terrorism, takes action that destabilizes Lebanon, allows the transit of some foreign fighters into Iraq, and represses its own people. If Syria wants better relations with the international community, it should put an end to these activities. This development serves as a reminder that often the same regimes that sponsor proliferation also sponsor terrorism, and cooperate with one another in doing so. This underscores that the international community is right to be very concerned about the nuclear activities of Iran and the risks those activities pose to the stability of the Middle East. To confront this challenge, the international community must take further steps, beginning with the full implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions dealing with Iranian nuclear activities. The U.S. calls upon the international community to redouble our common efforts to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction in this critical region.

2008-04-25 01:00:00

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