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. Israel accuse IAEA of 'impotence' on Iran and Syria
JERUSALEM, June 6 (AFP) Jun 06, 2009
Israel on Saturday accused the UN nuclear watchdog of "impotence" in dealing with alleged illegal nuclear activities in Iran and Syria.

"The latest International Atomic Energy Agency report shows the incompetence of the IAEA in exercising full and effective control over Iran because of the country's refusal to cooperate," said the Israeli Atomic Energy Agency.

"This document proves that the international community and Israel can not rely on the IAEA when it comes to Iran," it said.

"The weakness currently being shown by the international community allows countries such as North Korea to ignore its warnings, and the lessons are drawn by Iran."

The Israeli agency also said the IAEA report "reinforces suspicions that Syria is trying to conceal the proof of its secret nuclear activities at Deir ez-Zor" in the east of the country.

On Friday, a senior official close to the Vienna-based agency said the IAEA had not made any progress in its probes into activities in Iran and Syria.

Iran was still defying the UN Security Council and has so far amassed 1,339 kilograms of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride (UF6), the IAEA said in a restricted report, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.

The IAEA insisted that all of the UF6 and all installed cascades "remain under agency containment and surveillance" and that none of the declared nuclear material had been diverted.

The UN Security Council has ordered Iran to suspend all enrichment related activities, until the IAEA has been able to verify the exact nature of Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.

Western powers fear that Iran wants to build an atomic bomb, but Tehran insists it merely aims to produce civilian nuclear energy.

In a separate report on Syria, the IAEA said its inspectors found uranium particles at a research reactor near Damascus that would not normally be expected there and had asked Syria to explain how they got there.

The United States, meanwhile, alleges that a remote desert site -- known alternatively as Deir ez-Zor or Al-Kibar -- was an undeclared nuclear reactor until it was bombed by Israeli planes in September 2007.

Syria has claimed the uranium at Der ez-Zor came from the Israeli bombs, but the watchdog has more or less ruled out that interpretation.

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