UN atomic energy watchdog will need more than $10 million a year to assess Iran’s nuclear capacity

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukiya Amano (centre) addresses a special meeting of the Agency’s Board of Governors on Iran held at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Photo: IAEA/Dean Calma

25 August 2015 – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today presented to its member States for approval a report outlining a 9.2 million euros-a-year (roughly $10.5 million) programme to carry out the verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments as set out in the landmark international agreement reached last month with the Government of Iran.

“There is now a historic opportunity to resolve the Iran nuclear issue,” IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano said in an address to the agency’s Board of Governors he convened to consider the UN Security Council’s request for the agency to undertake verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“I hope that full use will be made of this opportunity,” Mr. Amano said.

Reminding member States on the IAEA Board that the joint plan of action was agreed Initiative by international negotiators (the 'E3+3' – composed of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) and Iran on 14 July, he said his agency was ready to undertake the necessary work subject to the approval of the Board.

Explaining the plan of action and its budgetary implications, Mr. Amano said, “Iran has agreed to implement extra nuclear-related commitments, which are known as transparency measures. These include enhanced access for Agency inspectors to uranium mines and mills, and continuous surveillance of centrifuge manufacturing and storage locations.”

“These measures go beyond the scope of Iran’s comprehensive safeguards agreement and additional protocol and will help the Agency to have a better understanding of Iran’s nuclear programme,” he said.

Mr. Amano said his agency will require additional resources to implement the activities described in IAEA’s report on Verification and Monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

“We estimate that implementation of the JCPOA will involve expenditure by the Agency totalling 9.2 million euros per year,” he said. “I call on all Member States in a position to do so to contribute towards the financial needs of the Agency related to implementation of the Joint Plan of Action, as well as preparatory and implementation work under the JCPOA.”

Saying that the arrangements made with Iran are “technically sound and consistent with established IAEA safeguards practices,” Mr. Amano assured member States that “they do not compromise our standards in any way.”

He also said IAEA has “top-class technical experts, high-tech equipment and state-of-the art analytical laboratories” and nearly six decades of experience of implementing comprehensive safeguards agreements.

“We are now doing so in 173 countries,” he said. “We have been implementing the additional protocol for nearly 20 years.”

And looking ahead, he said he will present his final assessment to the Board by December 15th.

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