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Syria: Nuclear Weapons

Volume 475: debated on Monday 12 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's policy is on steps the International Atomic Energy Agency should take to investigate the alleged existence of a nuclear weapons programme in Syria and its links with North Korea; and if he will make a statement. (204118)

The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohammed el Baradei, said on 25 April that the IAEA

“will treat this information with the seriousness it deserves and will investigate the veracity of the information”.

Mohammed el Baradei went on to say

“under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), the agency has a responsibility to verify any proliferation allegations in a non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT and to report its findings to the IAEA Board of Governors and the Security Council, as required”.

We await the outcome of the IAEA's investigation.

The US evidence highlights the need for states to agree and implement an additional protocol if the IAEA is to be able to give adequate assurance that they have no undeclared nuclear activities.