Enriched Uranium, Enough for 5 Bombs
The Jerusalem Post
Syria may have up to 50 tons of enriched uranium, enough to create five nuclear bombs, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing nuclear experts in the US and Middle East.
Up until this point, the paper pointed out, western governments have focused on the fate of Syria’s chemical stockpiles, and less on the fate of the country’s uranium, which was reportedly meant for the nuclear facility at Al-Kibar reportedly destroyed by Israel in 2007.
The Financial Times quoted David Albright, head of the US-based Institute for Science & International Security, as saying that the fears about the Syrian uranium were “legitimate.”
“There are real worries about what has happened to the uranium that Syria was planning to put into the Al-Kibar reactor shortly before the reactor was destroyed in 2007,” he said.
“There’s no question that, as Syria gets engulfed in civil war, the whereabouts of this uranium are worrying governments. There is evidence to suggest this issue has been raised by one government directly with the IAEA.”
The paper said that some government officials are concerned that Iran might be trying to get control of the uranium stockpile for its own nuclear program.
The Prime Minister’s Office had no comment on the report.
In recent days Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has discussed with visiting US legislators on Israeli-US intelligence cooperation regarding Syria’s chemical weapons, including images Israel passed on to the Pentagon apparently showing Syrian troops mixing chemicals and filling dozens of bombs with them, government officials said. The issue of uranium, however, is not one that is believed to have been raised.
Netanyahu met with Florida’s Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson on Tuesday and Kentucky’s Republican Sen. Rand Paul on Monday, as well as a delegation on the same day of seven visiting Republican congressman, led by California’s Rep. Darrell Issa.
The New York Times on Tuesday reported that in late November, Israel’s top military commanders discussed with the Pentagon satellite imagery showing what appeared to be Syrian troops mixing chemicals – probably the nerve gas sarin – at two storage sites, and filling dozens of 500- pound bombs.
According to the report, this resulted in a “remarkable show of international cooperation” that included a public warning by Pres. Barack Obama, and sharp private messages to Syrian leaders through Russia, Iraq, Turkey and possibly Jordan that stopped the chemical mixing and bomb preparation.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 01/10/2013
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