Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today praised the International Atomic Energy Agency’s decision to declare Syria non-compliant for failing to provide information on construction of a nuclear reactor at Dair Alzour. The UN agency reported Syria’s non-compliance to all IAEA member states and the U.N. Security Council and General Assembly.
Senator Gillibrand said, “IAEA’s decision today marks a significant step by the international community to force Syria to live up to global non-proliferation agreements and sends a strong signal to Iran that we will not tolerate pursuit of nuclear weapons. Syria’s years of obstruction of nuclear inspectors is alarming for the security of America, Israel, and all of our allies. If we’re going to keep America and our allies safe, Syria needs to know that there will be consequences if they are engaging in illicit nuclear activities. I am proud to have led a bipartisan coalition calling for special nuclear inspections in Syria and will continue to pressure the international community to hold Syria accountable for its actions.”
In March, Senators Gillibrand and Jon Kyl led a bipartisan coalition of 25 members of Congress urging Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency to bring transparency to the state of Syria’s nuclear program. The Senators called on the agency to insist on special inspections in Syria to uncover the truth on its potential nuclear development. This followed Gillibrand’s bi-partisan letter last December to President Obama pursuing the same goals.
IAEA’s decision today bypasses the call for special inspections, removes Syria from full participation in IAEA, and ratchets up pressure to impose sanctions against Syria.