Summary

In June 2009, one year after the first and only inspector visit in Syria, the IAEA director general reported that the information provided by the country "does not adequately support its assertions about the nature of the site." In August, he reported that the IAEA's investigation was "severely impeded" by Syria's non-cooperation.

  • The IAEA must complete its investigation in order to verify the absence of other undeclared activities in Syria, and the country's regime must be dissuaded from renewing such nuclear pursuits.
     
  • This case is as much about North Korean proliferation as it is about Syrian violations. Exposing North Korean cooperation with Syria could help to disclose and disrupt North Korea's global network.
     
  • The IAEA Board of Governors should address the Syrian investigation and North Korean proliferation activities at its next meeting in March 2010, and the issues should also be taken up at the NPT Review Conference in May, and the Six-Party Talks on North Korea.
     
  • Newly-appointed IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano should pursue a special inspection of Syria. The IAEA Board should be ready to back him, including through a report to the UN Security Council if the country’s non-cooperation continues.
     
  • The European Union should condition future economic relations with Syria on its cooperation with the IAEA to demonstrate that non-compliance has real consequences.

About the Author
Ambassador Gregory L. Schulte was the U.S. permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency from July 2005 to June 2009. He is now a senior visiting fellow at the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at the National Defense University. This article reflects his personal views and not those of NDU or the U.S. government.