The IAEA Should Call for a Special Inspection in Syria
James Acton, Mark Fitzpatrick, and Pierre Goldschmidt, Proliferation Analysis
When the International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors meets next week, Syria's case will be high on its agenda. Syria is suspected of building, at a site known as Dair Alzour, an undeclared nuclear reactor that was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in September 2007. The IAEA has found strong evidence to support this accusation but, as yet, no proof. It has repeatedly asked Syria for greater access on a voluntary basis. Syria has repeatedly refused. It is now time for the IAEA to move beyond such voluntary requests and invoke its most powerful inspection provision, the "special inspection," to make its requests for access legally binding. If Syria refuses then the Board should make a formal finding of "non-compliance."