Diplomats: West opposed to IAEA nuke aid to Syria

VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- Diplomats say the U.S. and key allies are objecting to an International Atomic Energy Agency offer to help Syria as it considers building a civilian nuclear power plant.

The diplomats have told The Associated Press that the West objects because Damascus is being investigated over allegations it tried secretly to build a reactor that could produce fissile warhead material. Syria denies illicit nuclear activity.

The IAEA feasibility study would cost just over over $350,000, according to a copy of a confidential document obtained by the AP.

But the diplomats said Friday that the Western nations are even more concerned that the project would send the wrong signal.

They asked for anonymity because their information was confidential.

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

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