- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 24, 2011

VIENNA — The U.N. nuclear agency says that a Syrian target bombed four years ago by Israel was very likely a nearly finished, covertly built nuclear reactor.

The finding by the International Atomic Energy Agency backs U.S. findings and sets the stage for potential U.N. Security Council action against Syria.

Syria says the nearly finished building had no nuclear uses. It has repeatedly turned down IAEA requests to revisit the site after allowing an initial 2008 inspection that found evidence of possible nuclear activities.

Diplomats have told the Associated Press that a strong IAEA opinion that the Syrians were trying to build a nuclear reactor secretly would likely result in a Western push to report Syria to the Security Council.

A senior Western diplomat said Tuesday that push would come next month at the next meeting of the 35-nation IAEA board, with the initiative likely to get majority backing.

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