German Paper Speculates About Syrian Nuclear Facilities

German Paper Speculates About Syrian Nuclear Facilities
BBC Monitor Euro
2008-05-31 12:45 (New York)

Text of report Clemens Wergin, "Even more secret nuclear facilities in Syria?", in right-of-centre daily German newspaper Die Welt on 30 May

Berlin: On 6 September 2007 Israeli fighter jets destroyed a lone building in northern Syria. According to the Israelis and the Americans, it housed a secret nuclear facility, which had been built with North Korean assistance and given the code name Al-Kibar by the Syrians. Die Welt has learned from Western security circles that this was not the only place where the Syrians carried out secret nuclear activities. Thus, US authorities apparently have information about two more nuclear facilities in Syria, about which they have also by now told the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA]. This was also reported by the Washington Post yesterday.

IAEA Director Muhammad al-Baradi'i had long been accusing the Americans of not cooperating with the IAEA on Syria. This has by now changed. At the end of April Al-Baradi'i received relevant information about the Syrian nuclear programme from the United States. "According to this information, the reactor was not yet functioning and no nuclear material had yet been inserted," Al- Baradi'i said at the time. Apparently, however, the United States has also passed on information about other development facilities in Syria. Security circles say that, following information from the United States, at the
beginning of May the IAEA sent a letter to the Syrian leadership, asking them to allow the IAEA access to two additional facilities.

This reportedly caused great excitement among the Syrian leadership, who have been pretending the need for technical clarifications since then so as not to let the inspectors into the country, which they are obliged to do in line with the Non- proliferation Treaty, which Syria signed.

Already when the IAEA expressed interest in visiting Al-Kibar, Syria obviously sought advice from its Iranian allies, who have been stalling the IAEA for years when it comes to their nuclear activities.

According to information obtained by Die Welt, Iranian experts had lorry-loads of earth excavated at the site of the bombing and all remaining building evacuated so that potential samples would no longer show any traces of nuclear activities. New soil was then brought along and a new building the size of the destroyed one was built, which is now declared as a missile-defence base so as to limit access by IAEA inspectors. These activities have been documented and published by the Americans. However, so far it has not been publicly known that they seem to be based on suggestions by Iranian experts. Iran had taken similarly-radical measures at its own nuclear research facility in Lavizan so as not to permit the IAEA to make any conclusions as to nuclear tests carried out there.

Pictures released by the US administration seem to confirm that Al-Kibar was a plutonium reactor of the North Korean type. Security circles said that the timing of the Israeli attack was connected with intelligence service reports about a shipment of nuclear material from North Korea to Syria. As soon as a reactor is put into operation, it is too late to bomb it because its destruction would harbour the risk of nuclear contamination.

If the accusations are substantiated, the dimension of North Korean help for Syria would surpass even the nuclear smuggling network of Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who had delivered sensitive know-how to North Korea, Libya and Iran. It would be the first time that a country illegally sold technology for a complete military nuclear facility.

According to information obtained by Die Welt, the secret nuclear programme is known only to President Bashar al-Asad's closest circle and is headed by Ibrahim Uthman, director of the Syrian Nuclear Energy Commission.

Originally published by Die Welt, Berlin, in German 30 May 08.

WASHINGTON, May 30 (UPI) — U.S. officials asked U.N. inspectors to expand their search for secret nuclear plants in Syria, hinting Damascus may have a bigger program than once thought. U.S. officials have identified at least three possible sites and forwarded the information to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is negotiating with Syria for permission to conduct inspections, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Comments (69)


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51. Shai said:

Nour,

There is an Israeli professor (Van Krefeld) who claims that only if the entire Middle East went nuclear, and a multilateral detente would come into being, would we have a chance to reach peace. What do you think about that? Imagine… a nuclear Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi, Egypt, Kuwait, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Iran… Sounds like a safer ME? Hmmm… But you’re right, certainly if I was a Syrian, I’d feel the same way exactly. Which is why Israel is being hypocritical when trying to point to anything nuclear about Syria. And Syria is missing a perfect PR opportunity to put Israel in its place…

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June 2nd, 2008, 8:22 pm

 

52. Nour said:

Shai,

Well certainly the best solution is no nuclear weapons in the Middle East. However, the problem is that you can’t make one side nuclear and expect the other side to just accept it and shut up. Again, I’m only expressing my hopes here. I don’t really believe Syria has a nuclear program.

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June 2nd, 2008, 8:29 pm

 

53. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Nour,
More than fair and it just drives home my point that your view about international law is not principled. So if you really don’t care about international law, stop using it as a criticism of Israel. Fair enough? Or do you care about international law only when it is in your favor?

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June 2nd, 2008, 8:36 pm

 

54. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Shai,
Why is Israel hypocritical in trying to stop the Syrians getting a bomb? If you were the Israeli prime minister would you give the Syrians our technology and some of our bombs?

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June 2nd, 2008, 8:55 pm

 

55. Nour said:

AIG,

I never claimed to really care about International Law. I believe that International Law is only implemented on the weak by the strong. I believe that strength is the determining factor in affirming or denying national rights. The only time I argue international law is to demonstrate US and Israeli hypocricy when they use it. I have no problem with Syria obtaining nuclear technology for the purpose of building nuclear weapons, regardless of so-called international law. International law is good at being used to kill 2 million Iraqis, but it can never be enforced against the strong nations committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. I would have a favorable view of International Law if it could be implemented and applied equally across the board.

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June 2nd, 2008, 10:15 pm

 

56. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Nour,
At least we agree on something. I appreciate your honesty. I believe your view reflects that of most Syrians and that is why I believe that raising the issue of international law is disingenious. Maybe Alex and you should have a discussion on this issue.

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June 2nd, 2008, 10:40 pm

 

57. Shai said:

Nour,

You’re absolutely right. I cannot expect any of our neighbors not to seek nuclear technology. That, unfortunately, is our reality.

AIG,

It is hypocritical to suggest Syria has no right to nuclear technology, or even to nuclear weapons. There is nothing hypocritical or not hypocritical about bombing Syria. That’s usually called “an act of war”, though our political leaders obviously didn’t consider that too much when they gambled once more with our present and future. Luckily, Syria didn’t retaliate. If it had, we’d have been in a large scale regional war already a year ago, probably including Syria, Iran, HA, and Hamas.

You know, in the Cuban Missile Crisis, most of JFK’s advisors were clearly for an invasion of Cuba, including all his chiefs of staff, military advisors, heads of intelligence, secretary of defense, national security advisors, even Bobby Kennedy. Only a former ambassador to Russia, a gentleman by the name of Llewellyn “Tommy” Thompson, was for a diplomatic solution and not a military one. He managed to convince JFK of his rationale. 30 years later, in 1992, Robert McNamara travelled to Cuba and met with many of his earlier adversaries, including Fidel Castro. He asked the Cuban leader if he knew at the time that there were 192 short and medium range nuclear weapons on the island, if he would have advised Khrushchev to use his nukes had the U.S. attacked, and what he thinks would have happened if Russia had attacked the U.S. Castro responded that he knew the weapons were there, that he in fact DID advise the Russians to respond in case of an attack, and that he knew had this happened, Cuba would have been completely destroyed.

When asked by McNamara how on earth Castro would consider this, bringing down the temple over his head, Castro responded that he (McNamara) too, as well as JFK, would have done the same, had they been in his shoes. You see, AIG, we often think we understand we understand the behavior of other leaders using our own rationale, and we’re wrong. You think there’s no way Assad would have retaliated over that Israeli attack, because he too would be bringing down the temple over his head. But he could have reacted like Castro was ready to (if the U.S. had attacked). And then what would you have said now? That he acted irrationally? But in the meantime, aside from such a wise conclusion, thousands would be dead in Israel? What kind of confidence building measure was that attack? What indication of peaceful intentions? What if that act would have buried the chance for peace with Syria for another two decades? Would it have been worth it? Of course, dealing in counterfactual history often seems to many to be a useless exercise. But I think we don’t engage in it enough. If we had, we might not be continuing to make endless mistakes, and will continue to do so.

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June 3rd, 2008, 4:43 am

 

58. Akbar Palace said:

Nour said:

I never claimed to really care about International Law. I believe that International Law is only implemented on the weak by the strong. I believe that strength is the determining factor in affirming or denying national rights. The only time I argue international law is to demonstrate US and Israeli hypocricy when they use it. I have no problem with Syria obtaining nuclear technology for the purpose of building nuclear weapons, regardless of so-called international law. International law is good at being used to kill 2 million Iraqis, but it can never be enforced against the strong nations committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Nour –

If “international law is good at being used to kill 2 million Iraqis”, how many Iraqis were killed by the local Iraqi government and local Arab insurgents?

Iraq Body Count shows just less than 100,000 Iraqi civilians were killed since the US invaded Iraq. Also Iraq Body Count does not distinguish between deaths caused by allied forces and those killed by insurgents/jihadists.

Who killed the other 1.9 million people?

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

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June 3rd, 2008, 10:43 am

 

59. Nour said:

AP,

First, Iraq Body Count does not have an accurate estimate of total Iraqis killed by this latest war. Second, I was referring, in my number, to all Iraqis killed since sanctions were imposed on the country. In case you don’t remember, at least 1.5 million Iraqis died as a direct result of sanctions. Finally, regardless of whether criminal or terrorist groups within Iraq are directly involved in killing civilians, the US occupation is ultimately responsible. I cannot go to a country, invade it, destroy its entire infrastructure, dismantle and disassemble its entire security, police, and military network, thereby creating a security vacuum, and then claim innocence when lo and behold, widespread violence breaks out. I wonder what would happen if someone were to eliminate the entire US government, police, intelligence, and military forces. I would bet the US would descend into chaos.

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June 3rd, 2008, 11:16 am

 

60. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Shai,
Well, your answer proves the point that Israel cannot allow an Iraninan bomb because we cannot count on their rationality. No? You were arguing the other side of this just a few days ago.

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June 3rd, 2008, 12:29 pm

 

61. Akbar Palace said:

Finally, regardless of whether criminal or terrorist groups within Iraq are directly involved in killing civilians, the US occupation is ultimately responsible.

Nour,

Thank you for your answer. So basically you are saying that the international community is responsible for all deaths prior to the invasion (sanctions) and that the US and the international community is responsible for all deaths after the invasion.

Therefore (correct me if I am wrong) you are completely clearing the Baathist Iraqi government (Saddam Hussein), all the insurgents and jihadist terrorists, and any other local thug from:

1.) Complying with UNSC resolutions in order to erase sanctions
2.) Mass graves the Baathist government created to place any political/opposition they deemed necessary
3.) Residents of Halabja
4.) Bombings of markets and other public places, mosques, police stations, car bombs, etc.

Please let me know if I have drawn the correct conclusion. If not, please tell me what number of Iraqi civilians this group is responsible for.

Thanks.

AP

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June 3rd, 2008, 2:29 pm

 

62. Alex said:

AP,

I see you are still motivated and satisfied by writing the perfect defensive reply to some “nour” on some blog called “Syria Comment”.

If you want to draw the correct conclusion, I will try to help you:

The Neocons, and their supporters in making a case for sanctions against Iraq, and then the Iraq war and all the stunning decisions (innocent mistakes?) to create total vacuum in Iraq … those responsible for this utterly criminal negligence (to give them the benefit of the doubt which they really don’t deserve) … those are first class criminals of our time.

And I’m sorry to tell you that your wonderful Israel lobby was a part of it … NOT American Jews as many Arabs claim…. American Jews were against the war more than other Americans.

Your neocons and your wonderful lobby should publicly admit to their own responsibility, and admitting that Amerian Jews which they supposedly represented, did not support this criminal war.

Akbar … because the faces behind the drive for the Iraq war (the neocons) were mostly Jewish, and were ALL strong friends of Israel, … it is understandable if people of the Middle East made the erroneous conclusion that American Jews in general selfishly drove their government to weaken Iraq (Israel’s enemy) at the expense of hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis… Do you want Jews in general to be responsible for the death of this number of people?

How would you have felt if all the Syrian leaders supported Hitler at the time? .. to many Iraqis, Saddam was Hitler, and to many mre other Iraqis … guess who is a Hitler…. think of the two million Iraqi refugees who did not perish but .. many lost immediate relatives, and many others a daughter to prostitution who wanted to feed her hungry family…

Look at AIG … because in Aleppo in 1948 few Jews were attacked and their stores were burned (few, really few) … he generalized to incriminating large segments of the population (antisemites) … he did not forget a few in 1948 …

Same with Hama … until today there are many Syrians (and Sunni Arabs) who would love to take revenge for the over 10,000 people who died there 27 years ago.

The Iraq war will not be forgotten through your media connections … you might be able to convince people in Ohio that it was all Saddam’s fault, but to the millions of surviving Iraqis whose life was destroyed … to them, it is American Jews who made it happen.

Hizbollah (and Iran’s animosity towards Israel) are both largely influenced by Israel earlier criminal mistake of invading Lebanon in 1981 (17000 died) … you created powerful enemies that are still fighting you today.

Iraq was a huge mistake … it takes a huge effort on the part of your friends to undo it … today’s Iran and Hizbollah are nothing compared to what you will face from those in Iraq who will not forget.

And you start by making it clear that American Jews are against the Iraq war … instead of hiding behind them.

Then you do your best to reach a final settlement based on 242 … especially a settlement with the Palestinians.

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June 3rd, 2008, 3:22 pm

 

63. Alex said:

Syria Says Wants Nuclear Energy Under Arab Umbrella
June 3, 2008

DUBAI (Reuters) – Syria is not seeking nuclear weapons but wants to have access to atomic energy for peaceful purposes through a collective Arab project, President Bashar al-Assad said in remarks published on Tuesday.

The Dubai-based Gulf News also quoted Assad as saying that the United States should have sought an investigation of a Syrian facility suspected of housing a secret nuclear plant before it was destroyed in an Israeli air raid last September.

“Acquiring nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is an international trend that all countries are rightfully pursuing. In Syria, we want this to be done within an Arab context, which was discussed and agreed during the Arab Summit in Riyadh,” he said during a visit to the United Arab Emirates.

Gulf Arabs have announced their own plans to develop nuclear energy for civilian purposes following a 2007 Arab summit that called on Arabs to develop atomic power.

U.S. intelligence officials in April said they believed Syria had built the suspected reactor with the assistance of North Korea, which later also helped in cleaning up the site after the Israeli strike.

Syria has denied having any undeclared nuclear program. It has one old research reactor subject to monitoring by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors.

“If anyone had a secret dossier on nuclear facilities in Syria with a Korean role, as they claim, then why did they wait for seven months before destroying a normal military facility by the Israeli raid?” Assad said. “Why did they not resort to the UN nuclear energy organization to carry out an inspection?”

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June 3rd, 2008, 3:47 pm

 

64. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
Thank you for distorting my views.
First, most if not all the stores of the Jews in Aleppo were burned and all the synagouges and many Jews were murdered. That was not the really sad part. The really sad part and the true sign of antisemitism is that not ONE Arab made the effort to write down what happened and publish it. Not even ONE. And to this day it continues. Not ONE Arab intellectual (even in the US) is willing to research and find out exactly what happened in Aleppo in 1947. What lesson do you deduce from it?

Second, my view that most Syrians are antisemitic is based on a large amount of evidence. Do you want the links again? In fact, many Syrians admit that this is the case and that is a thing that needs to be changed in Syria.

Third, as for Iraq. The Kurds will be happy about the war, as will the Shias who could not stand Saddam. As for the Sunnis, with prespective they will see that it was their crazy insurgency that targeted mostly Iraqis and Iraqi infrastructure that caused all the mayhem in Iraq. It was not American Jews and the Sunnis who are not dumb, will figure it out.

Fourth, the Jews have given the ultimate example of how one can forgive, by forgiving the Germans. It can and should be done.

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June 3rd, 2008, 4:57 pm

 

65. Shai said:

AIG,

No, my point was exactly the opposite. That while the army chiefs are pushing for a military “solution” to the problem, it is probably far too late (and hence, in that sense similar to the Cuban situation), and therefore a diplomatic solution is a safer bet. Not safer in the sense that it’ll necessarily eliminate Iran’s nuclear abilities or even nuclear weapons, but in the sense that it’s least likely to cause Iran to attack us if and when it achieves this capability. By not trying to force the Soviets to remove their nuclear capabilities just 90 miles off the Florida coast, and instead choosing a diplomatic route, we now know (since 1992) that JFK saved his nation from catastrophe. It is highly unlikely that Israel can destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Iran has learned the necessary lessons from 1981’s Osirak. There’s no reason whatsoever to think it didn’t. And if we do attack tomorrow morning, and temporarily delay the program, you can bet what kind of response we may get once the Islamic Republic has achieved its nuclear aspirations. Like with N. Korea, and Syria, instead of isolating Iran, now is the time to bring her closer to the West, not farther away. It is a myth that negative pressure will cause her to succumb. Look at Syria, as a good example.

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June 3rd, 2008, 5:33 pm

 

66. Alex said:

AIG,

I have my grand mother who tells me that she did not hear of any Jews dying in Aleppo .. she lived very close to the Jewish neighborhood.

She told me that she knew that they burned many stores and a Synagogue.

You speak of the event as if YOU were there yourself. And you want to invent a story of large number of murdered Jews … which is not the case.

The number of those who died was comparable probably to those your IDF kills every week … therefore, if it was not extensively analyzed by Arab scholars one can ask the same question every week about why American Jewish scholars did not study and analyze every time teh Israelis destroy Palestinian properties and kill Palestinians under occupation.

For your information, I have donated many historic photos to the Ben-Zvi Institute (where they have the Aleppo Codex.

The Aleppo Codex was “taken” to Israel from Aleppo in 1958. I am certainly not happy that the synagogue in Aleppo that used to host it was attacked during the events of 1947… Aleppo should have still kept and guarded the Aleppo Codex. But perhaps those who burned the synagogue deserve to pay that price.

As for forgiving the Germans … t starts with the Germans removing hteir Hitler .. then the Germans fully realizing their country’s crimes … and many other steps on their side without which, I doubt you would have forgiven them.

That is what I was calling for … those who made the big mistake need to start by apologizing and admitting and … getting out of there forever.

Instead we hear the Neocons are still writing opinion pieces in the WSJ calling for the next president to continue on the same path … and we hear that the Neocon characters are lobbying for a war against Iran …

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June 3rd, 2008, 5:34 pm

 

67. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Alex,
Your attempt to minimize the Aleppo pogrom is futile. At least 50% of the Jews of Aleppo left it for good after the pogrom after the Jews lived there for hundreds of years. That is ethinc cleansing. And many Jews were murdered. That is an event that should be researched and has not been because of antisemitism. The history of Jews and the violence against them in Syria is just not important enough to look into.

In contrast, the Israeli press and international press scrutinize every act of Israel against the Palestinians.

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June 3rd, 2008, 5:44 pm

 

68. Alex said:

AIG,

As I told you many times before, speaking to you is useless.

I made may case to whoever wants to hear it.

Now let me help you go back to work, I’ll finish the rest of your assignment for today for you.

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Syrians are antisemites
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Syrians are antisemites
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Syrians are antisemites
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Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular
Aleppo pogrom
Syrians are antisemites
Tlass book very popular

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June 3rd, 2008, 5:51 pm

 

69. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

[deleted by admin]

AIG .. we had this same conversation here a week or two ago. I am not interested in spending two more hours repeating the same thing with you.

Whoever wants to know more, all your comments and opinions are already on this blog. They can find it.

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June 3rd, 2008, 6:35 pm

 

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