The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it did not know about any undeclared nuclear facility in Syria by now, an indirect rebuke to a recent U.S. newsreport, the Austrian Press Agency (APA) reported on Monday.
The UN nuclear watchdog "has no information about any undeclared nuclear facility in Syria and no information about recent reports," Meilissa Fleming, a spokeswoman for the IAEA, was quoted as saying by APA.
Fleming said that the IAEA "is in contact with the Syrian authorities to verify the authenticity of these reports," she said.
Pledging to investigate any relevant information about recent media reports, she said the agency expected "any country having information about nuclear-related activities in another country to provide that information to the IAEA."
Her statement seemed to be an indirect rebuke to a Sunday report by The New York Times which cited unidentified U.S. and foreign officials as saying that an Israeli air strike targeted an undeclared nuclear site in Syria last month.
The report said the site was a unclear reactor that was years away from completion and designed for stockpiling atomic bomb fuel.
Satellite photographs detected the reactor earlier this year, the report quoted U.S. officials as saying.
The Syrian government has denied hiding any undeclared nuclear facility or activity from the IAEA or taking any nuclear work other than for energy goals. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad earlier said the target was an unused military building.
Syria joined the IAEA in 1963 and has one small research reactor and some other nuclear facilities for scientific research, all of which were declared to the IAEA and have been under its supervision.