Syria nuclear
Suspected Syrian nuclear facility reportedly bombed by Israel in 2007. Photo by Archive
related tags

Diplomats say the International Atomic Energy Agency is setting the stage for UN Security Council action against Syria for allegedly trying to build a secret nuclear reactor.

On Thursday, the head of the IAEA said for the first time that a target allegedly destroyed by Israeli warplanes in Syria in 2007 was a covert nuclear site. The agency later retracted the statement, but diplomats say it is working on an assessment that will judge the destroyed building a likely reactor.

Syria says the building had no nuclear uses, but a 2008 IAEA inspection found evidence of possible nuclear activities.

The diplomats say such an assessment would be the basis of a resolution at an IAEA board meeting that sends the issue to the Security Council.

They spoke on condition of anonymity in exchange for discussing confidential information.