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.
What We're Following See More »
"Senate Democrats on Thursday failed in their first attempt to save the state and local tax deduction, which helps many residents of California and other high-cost states reduce their federal income tax bills. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-47 to reject an amendment that would have prevented the Senate from considering any bill that repeals or limits the deduction as part of a planned tax overhaul."
"President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski appeared on Capitol Hill for a closed-door interview with the Senate intelligence committee Wednesday, according to a source familiar with the matter. Lewandowski is the latest senior official in Trump's orbit who has met with the committee as part of its investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign."
"A growing number of key Republicans are sending this message to the leaders of the congressional committees investigating potential Trump campaign collusion with the Russians: Wrap it up soon. In the House and Senate, several Republicans who sit on key committees are starting to grumble that the investigations have spanned the better part of the past nine months, contending that the Democratic push to extend the investigation well into next year could amount to a fishing expedition."