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Multiple Nations Set to Finance Heightened Iran Monitoring

Iranian Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency Reza Najafi, left, shakes hands in November with IAEA safeguards chief Tero Varjoranta. Iranian Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency Reza Najafi, left, shakes hands in November with IAEA safeguards chief Tero Varjoranta. (Alexander Klein/AFP/Getty Images)

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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