Syria will allow in United Nations inspectors to probe allegations the country was building a nuclear reactor at a remote site destroyed in an Israeli air strike, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday.Quote has been trimmed
IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei did not say whether his inspectors would be granted access to the site during the planned June 22-24 visit. But a senior diplomat familiar with the details of the planned visit said agency personnel had been told they could visit the facility. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The building was flattened by Israel in September. Neither the United States nor Israel gave the IAEA information about the site until late April, about a year after they obtained what they considered to be decisive intelligence: dozens of photographs from a handheld camera that showed both the interior and exterior of the compound in Syria's eastern desert.
Since that time, Syria had not reacted to repeated agency requests for a visit to check out the allegations, using the interval to erect another structure over the site — a move that heightened suspicions of a possible coverup.
ElBaradei repeated his criticism of Israel and the United States in announcing the...