"In a marked shift from previous assessments, the CIA said in a report released today that it is monitoring Syrian nuclear intentions with 'growing concern,'" Global Security Newswire says.
The unclassified semiannual report, covering a period from Jan. 1 to June 30 of this year... (noted) continued Syrian-Russian agreements on nuclear cooperation and Damascuss expanded access to foreign nuclear-related expertise. Previous agency assessments of Syrian nuclear weapons efforts, however, do not describe U.S. interest in Syrian nuclear activities in such ominous language...The CIA says that Syria continued during the first half of this year to seek foreign assistance to develop a solid-propellant rocket motor development and production capability. Syria has also relied on other nations, primarily North Korea, for assistance with its liquid-propelled missile program, the report says.Concerning biological and chemical weapons, the report says that it is highly probable that Syria has continued to work to develop an offensive biological weapons capability and that Syria continues to seek foreign assistance and equipment for its chemical weapons program.In equally grim news, today's Newswire also reports that the "Iran has systematically concealed wide-ranging nuclear activities including the production of small amounts of plutonium and low-enriched uranium," according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. However, "it is not clear whether the country has tried to develop a nuclear weapon."