Multiple Nations Set to Finance Heightened Iran Monitoring

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Global Security Newswire Staff
Jan. 23, 2014, 9:01 a.m.

Glob­al en­voys said mul­tiple na­tions ap­peared ready to of­fer funds on Fri­day for an in­tens­i­fied nuc­le­ar-mon­it­or­ing re­gime in Ir­an, Re­u­ters re­ports.

In­siders sug­ges­ted that the In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency would have little prob­lem gath­er­ing con­tri­bu­tions for veri­fy­ing Ir­an’s com­pli­ance with fresh nuc­le­ar re­stric­tions that took ef­fect this week. The U.N. or­gan­iz­a­tion plans on Fri­day to con­vene a spe­cial gath­er­ing to ad­dress veri­fic­a­tion du­ties it re­ceived un­der a six-month ac­cord, reached two months ago by Ir­a­ni­an ne­go­ti­at­ors and their in­ter­na­tion­al coun­ter­parts.

Po­ten­tial fun­ders re­portedly in­clude some less siz­able West­ern coun­tries, in ad­di­tion to the Novem­ber deal’s key ne­go­ti­at­ors: China, France, Ger­many, Rus­sia, the United King­dom and the United States.

The U.N. nuc­le­ar watch­dog agency has long con­duc­ted in­spec­tions in Ir­an and else­where to help en­sure that nuc­le­ar as­sets in peace­ful en­ergy pro­grams are not di­ver­ted for mil­it­ary use. IAEA audits in the Middle East­ern na­tion are ex­pec­ted to be­come more fre­quent as a res­ult of the in­ter­im atom­ic ac­cord.

IAEA safe­guards chief Tero Var­jor­anta last week said the agency would “roughly double” its quant­ity of per­son­nel in Ir­an to sup­port veri­fic­a­tion of the half-year deal. Wash­ing­ton and its al­lies see the short-term agree­ment as a po­ten­tial first step to­ward de­fus­ing fears that Tehran is secretly pur­su­ing a nuc­le­ar-arms cap­ab­il­ity.

The agency would need $8.2 mil­lion for the ad­di­tion­al in­spec­tions, ac­cord­ing to an un­re­leased es­tim­ate that the U.N. or­gan­iz­a­tion cir­cu­lated to mem­ber na­tions last week. Of that amount, $7.5 mil­lion must come from “ex­trabudget­ary vol­un­tary con­tri­bu­tions.”

The agency this year plans to spend $470.6 mil­lion on its activ­it­ies; about one-third of the funds would sup­port in­spec­tions.

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