Site discovery ups fear of Syria-Pakistan nuke ties
The reported discovery of a complex in Syria has raised UN suspicions that Damascus collaborated with Abdul Qadeer Khan, the architect of Pakistan's nuclear bomb project, to obtain nuclear technology for a covert weapons programme.
The facility near the Iraqi border is almost identical to the design plans for a uranium-enrichment plant provided to Libya as the North African country developed its nuclear weapons programme with the assistance of Mr Khan, it was reported.
The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, is also understood to have copies of correspondence between Mr Khan and a Syrian government official, Muhidin Issa, who apparently suggested collaboration.
Combined with the existence of a second suspected nuclear facility bombed by Israel in 2007, there is a possibility that Syria was at one point pursuing nuclear-weapons capability much more vigorously than was previously supposed. (© Independent News Service)