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Syria and WMD (plus)
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Syria and WMD (plus)

Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

 

The Syrian situation may be getting more and more serious on a number of humanitarian fronts with the arrival now of a frigid snow blast hitting the refugee camps; but now the Financial Times has added a new wrinkle in its new report concerning missing uranium. In this case, it has led the U.S., the West, Israel, and even Russia to begin to see both the Iranian danger as well as the Syrian one in a new light.

Until now the slaughter in Syria which has been continuing for more than 18 months has had a potential chemical or biological weapons threat hanging over it. Now, the world is faced with the potential disappearance of a reported 50 tons of uranium which Syria might have held already at the time of the Israeli attack on their reactor. This highly desirable uranium could be headed directly into the hands of Syria’s main ally, Iran.

The escalation of more Syrian violence of late has now manifested itself in apparent reported rocket attacks against some of the rebels. To date there is no reported evidence of unconventional warheads being used on the Syrian Scud missiles, but this new discovery  underscores the distinct possibility that the Government could escalate the stakes at any moment should they wish to do so. Adding to this concern now is the reported movement of uranium which is all Iran may need to prepare as many as five nuclear weapons. Syria might well have made a bargain with Iran to protect the Assad regime as the price for their obtaining some or all of the uranium.     

The basis for the uranium material’s existence emanates from the successful Israeli destruction in September 2007 of the Syrian reactor being built in Al-Kibar. The unknown question to which the answer may now have emerged was whether the Syrians already had the uranium ready to use at that location or not. As it has now been reported, this material existed and now may be in danger of falling into Iranian hands, the result of which will intensify their potential nuclear threat. The very fact that both the West and the Russians are of a similar mind on trying to prevent the use or transfer of the uranium, may well be proof needed to confirm the credibility of the new report.


 

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