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Moscow Says US Strike on Syria Threatens Nuclear Security

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday urged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to analyze risks of a potential US military operation in Syria, saying such a strike would threaten nuclear security throughout the Middle East.

5 September 2013

Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement that such an operation in Syria “might affect targets sensitive in terms of nuclear security and nuclear non-proliferation,” including the Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) near Damascus.

He said “the consequences will be catastrophic” if the MNSR is hit by a US missile. Potential risks entail “possible contamination of adjacent territories with highly enriched uranium and radioactive decay products and the de-facto impossibility of ensuring control and safety of nuclear material at this object,” he said.

“In order to prevent events from taking a negative turn, we strongly urge the IAEA secretariat to promptly react to the situation and to present member states with an analysis of risks related to airstrikes on the MNSR and other objects in Syria,” the statement reads.

September 4, 2013