Statement by the White House Press Secretary on the IAEA Board of Governors Resolution on Syria

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–June 9, 2011.  

Today’s decision by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors that Syria violated its international nonproliferation obligations marks a significant action by the international community to uphold the nonproliferation rules of the road. As the IAEA reports, with assistance from North Korea, Syria attempted to build a secret nuclear reactor capable of producing large amounts of nuclear weapons-usable plutonium, but with no apparent legitimate civilian purpose.  Syria has stonewalled and obstructed the efforts of the IAEA to investigate the nuclear reactor for years, refusing to provide access to associated sites, personnel and documents in violation of Syria’s freely-accepted legal obligations.  With this resolution, the Board has referred Syria to the UN Security Council for further deliberation, consistent with the Board’s mandate and authorities when confronted with noncompliance.  The United States remains determined to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.  We will work with partners and allies around the world to stand together to insist that every country meet its responsibilities or be held accountable for its actions.