Posted by Joshua on Tuesday, November 11th, 2008
Here is an interesting blog posting from Moon of Alabama mocking the nuclear story. I am unable to assess this, but the sorce is smart.
IAEA Irked at “Premature” Syria Nuclear Disclosures
By Mark Heinrich
November 11, 2008
VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog criticized on Tuesday diplomatic disclosures that it had found uranium traces at a Syrian site under investigation, saying this was an effort to prejudge the agency’s conclusions.
It was a rare open expression of irritation within the agency about news leaks, which some say risk putting a political spin on its technical findings in probes of nations suspected in the West to be illicit nuclear proliferators.
Several diplomats tracking the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Monday that particles of processed uranium turned up in some test samples IAEA inspectors took at the site. These were not enough to draw conclusions about any undeclared nuclear activity but warranted further investigation, they told Reuters.
IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming confirmed the agency was drafting a report on Syria and had put it on the agenda of the agency’s November 27-28 governors meeting — both firsts, in what diplomats said hinted inspectors had found something serious.
But she said the IAEA’s evaluation of findings from a June visit to the site, which Washington says was a secret nuclear reactor almost built before it was bombed by Israel in 2007, was not finished and a public verdict was unwarranted until then.
“We regret that people are trying to prejudge the IAEA’s technical assessment. We are, however, accustomed to these kinds of efforts to hype and undermine the process before every meeting of the IAEA board (of governors),” Fleming said.
The IAEA did not challenge the substance of Monday’s revelations about the uranium traces.
A diplomat close to the agency said its concern was that the leaks could not reflect the full picture and that circulating highly confidential information before an official report could discourage Syrian cooperation with the IAEA.
Syria’s ambassador to the IAEA did not return messages asking for comment. There was also no comment from Damascus. It has dismissed U.S. intelligence pointing to a nascent plutonium-making reactor at the site as fabricated….