MATSUMOTO, Japan, July 27 (UPI) -- The U.N. nuclear energy chief Wednesday singled out Iran, North Korea and Syria for not complying with a nuclear weapons non-proliferation treaty.
"My approach to nuclear verification since taking up office in December 2009 has been very straightforward," Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in a release. "All safeguards agreements between [member countries] and the agency, and other relevant obligations such as U.N. Security Council resolutions, should be implemented fully."
Iran was not cooperating with IAEA officials in providing "credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities" and that nuclear material in Iran was used for peaceful purposes, Amano said during the 23rd U.N. Conference on Disarmament Issues in Matsumoto, Japan.
North Korea's nuclear program "remains a matter of serious concern," Amano said, because the IAEA hasn't been able to implement any safeguard measures in the country since April 2009.
"Last year's reports about the construction of a new uranium enrichment facility and a light water reactor in [North Korea] are deeply troubling," he told the conference.
Concerning Syria, Amano said the IAEA concluded it is "very likely" a building destroyed in Dair Alzour in 2007 was a nuclear reactor that should have been declared.
"Following my latest report on this subject, the IAEA board of governors last month adopted a resolution finding Syria to be in non-compliance with its safeguards obligations," he said. "I continue to engage with Syria to resolve related outstanding issues."
Amano said the nuclear agency supports creation of new nuclear weapons-free zones and will help in their implementation. He said he was discussing with IAEA members the possibility of a forum on the relevance of current nuclear weapon-free zones and the consideration of establishing a zone in the Middle East.