Washington, DC – Congressman Howard L. Berman, Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today welcomed the decision by the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna to refer Syria’s noncompliance with its safeguards obligations to the United Nations Security Council. The Board of Governors took this step after years of Syrian obstruction of the IAEA’s efforts to investigate Syria’s actions in covertly building a nuclear reactor, which was destroyed by Israel as it neared completion.

“This is a significant and welcome step. Syria has for years frustrated the will of the international community to get to the bottom of what it was secretly building in the desert. A full accounting by Damascus is long overdue.

“The region is unstable enough without suspicions that Syria, like Iran, is pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons capability. I urge the Security Council to take swift and effective action to resolve Syria’s noncompliance with its international safeguards obligations.”