AP Exclusive: Syria to end nuclear secrecy

May 29, 2011 - 12:43 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A document shared with The Associated Press says Syria has agreed to fully cooperate with U.N. attempts to probe strong evidence that it secretly built a reactor that could have been used to make nuclear arms.

If Syria fulfills its promise, the move would end three years of stonewalling by Damascus of the International Atomic Energy. Since 2008, the agency has tried in vain to follow up on strong evidence that a target bombed in 2007 by Israeli warplanes was a nearly built nuclear reactor that would have produced plutonium once active.

The pledge is contained in a confidential letter from top Syrian nuclear officials that is cited by IAEA chief Yukiya Amano. Amano quotes them as saying "we are ready to fully cooperate with the agency."

The Syrian pledge was apparently prompted by U.S.-led efforts to report Syria to the U.N. Security Council for allegedly violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.