Syria says it will not allow UN nuclear agency to probe military sites

VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- Syria says it will cooperate with a U.N. probe into its nuclear program, but military sites will be off limits.

The International Atomic Energy agency is looking into allegations that Syria has a hidden nuclear program that could be harnessed to make weapons.

The IAEA visited the country in June to examine a site bombed by Israel. The U.S. says the site was a nearly finished plutonium-producing reactor, but environmental samples from the site have not shown a nuclear link. Still, U.S. intelligence says the Syrians hadn't introduced radioactive material before the attack and the site was cleaned up before that IAEA visit.

Diplomats say Syria has turned down requests for follow up visits to three other locations.

The head of Syria's nuclear program told an IAEA meeting in Vienna today that Damascus "is cooperating with the agency in full transparency." But he says that will not come "at the expense of disclosing our military sites."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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