The U.N. atomic agency asked member countries on Friday for more money to fund the increased inspections it will conduct in Iran as it verifies Tehran's compliance with a nuclear deal agreed with six world powers.
The International Atomic Energy Agency will nearly double the number of people it has working on Iran as a result of the six-month accord, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano told an extraordinary meeting of the body's 35-nation governing board.
Amano said the interim accord - which took effect on Monday and under which Iran will get relief from some economic sanctions - was an "important step forward towards achieving a comprehensive solution" to the decade-old nuclear dispute.
But, he added: "there is still a long way to go". "We will need to nearly double the staff resources devoted to verification in Iran," Amano said. "We will need to significantly increase the frequency of the verification activities which we are currently conducting."
In the deal with the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia, Iran agreed to suspend its most sensitive nuclear activity in exchange for a limited easing of sanctions that are battering its oil-dependent economy. In a confidential report to member states last week, the IAEA estimated the increased workload as a result of the deal would cost around 6 million euros.
Of that amount, "extrabudgetary voluntary contributions of about 5.5 million euros are needed," the report said. Diplomats said they did not expect any difficulties in raising the money in view of the political importance of the issue.
Amano told the board: "I call upon countries which are in a position to do so to make the necessary funding available." The U.S. envoy to the IAEA, Joseph Macmanus, told reporters the United States would provide a "substantive" contribution, without giving a figure, and said that other IAEA members at the meeting had also agreed to provide additional resources.
(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)