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 GOP leaders picked up support Wednesday for their plan to pass a scaled-back bill to repeal a handful of elements in the current health law, and then open negotiations with House Republicans to try to bring together their two very different bills."
"Paul Manafort, who served as a top aide to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, on Tuesday provided congressional investigators notes he took during a Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer that has emerged as a focus in the investigation of Russian interference in the election. Manafort’s submission, which came as he was interviewed in a closed session by staff members for the Senate Intelligence Committee, could offer a key contemporaneous account of the June 2016 session."
By the narrowest of margins, the Senate voted 51-50 this afternoon to begin debate on the House's legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins defected from the GOP, but Vice President Pence broke a tie. Sen. John McCain returned from brain surgery to cast his vote.