Amano seeks extra funding to manage Iran agreement

25 August 2015

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Yukiya Amano today sought approval for extra funding of €9.2 million ($10.6 million) per year for the agency's "special arrangement" with Iran, which he stressed "would not serve as a precedent".

Amano made his request to the Vienna-based organization's Board of Governors at a meeting convened to consider the UN Security Council's resolution 2231, namely, its request for the IAEA to undertake verification and monitoring of Iran's nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Of the €9.2 million per year in additional resources, Amano said about €3 million ($3.4 million) will go towards provisional implementation of the additional protocol. Verification and monitoring of Iran's nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA are expected to cost €6.2 million ($7.1 million), which includes the costs related to IAEA inspectors.

Amano later said at a press briefing that he could not give exact numbers on how many more IAEA inspectors and analysts would be needed, and thus budgeted for, as a result of the JCPOA. "It will be a substantial, but not a dramatic increase," he said.

The JCPOA was agreed on 14 July by Iran and the E3/EU+3 - comprising China, Russia, France, Germany, the UK, and the USA. The same day, Amano signed a 'Roadmap for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran's nuclear program' with Ali Akbar Salehi, vice-president of Iran and president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. As a result of the JCPOA, Iran will implement the 'additional protocol'.

"The additional protocol is a powerful verification tool and I have been calling for Iran to implement it since I took office nearly six years ago," Amano said. "The additional protocol will be implemented in Iran as it is in around 120 other countries which have already brought it into force. Once the additional protocol is implemented, we will have greater access to information and to sites in Iran."

The additional protocol is a legal document that supplements IAEA safeguards agreements and grants the agency complementary legal authority to verify a State's safeguards obligations. The agency has nearly 60 years of experience of implementing comprehensive safeguards agreements and is now doing so in 173 countries. It has been implementing the additional protocol for nearly 20 years.

Additional resources

Amano stressed he was not proposing any changes to the IAEA's Regular Budget for 2016, which the Board has recommended for approval to the General Conference, or to the appropriations for each Major Program, or to Member States' assessed contributions for that year. Instead, the agency will need to meet all additional costs until the end of 2016 through extra-budgetary contributions, he said. For 2017 and beyond, Amano said he will start to consult with Member States on the implications for the Regular Budget during preparation of the budget update for 2017.

The agency has immediate funding needs related to the continuing costs of implementing monitoring and verification under the existing Joint Plan of Action, Amano said. These total €800,000 ($919,000) per month. The extra-budgetary contributions which it had previously received for this purpose will be "exhausted" by the end of September, he said. Additional expenditure of €160,000 per month ($184,000) will become necessary between the 'adoption day' and 'implementation day' of the JCPOA, as the agency carries out preparatory work to facilitate the verification and monitoring.

When a country starts to implement the additional protocol, it has to present detailed and extensive information about its nuclear fuel-cycle related activities to the IAEA, which then seeks to verify the correctness and completeness of that information, which must be updated regularly.

Under the JCPOA, Iran has agreed to implement extra nuclear-related commitments, which are known as transparency measures. These include enhanced access for IAEA inspectors to uranium mines and mills, and continuous surveillance of centrifuge manufacturing and storage locations. Amano said that 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 program.

A Joint Commission consisting of the E3/EU+3 and Iran will be established to monitor the implementation of the JCPOA, he said.


The purpose of the roadmap is to accelerate and strengthen the cooperation and dialogue between the IAEA and Iran with a view to resolving all outstanding issues by the end of 2015. It is part of the Framework for Cooperation agreed between Iran and the IAEA in November 2013.

"The arrangements made with Iran are technically sound and consistent with established IAEA safeguards practices. They do not compromise our standards in any way," Amano said today.

On 15 August, as agreed in the roadmap, Iran provided the agency with explanations in writing, and related documents, for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues. All activities under the roadmap are to be completed by 15 October. Amano said he will present his final assessment to the Board by 15 December.

"There is now a historic opportunity to resolve the Iran nuclear issue. I hope that full use will be made of this opportunity," he said. "I know I can rely on the full support of the Board and I also count on [it] to make the necessary funding available."

Asked during the press conference whether he felt that he and the agency had been "scapegoated" by political opponents in the USA to the agreement with Iran, Amano stressed that the IAEA is "not a political organization" and is focused on the technical elements of the agreement.

"I believe that from a verification point of view, the implementation of the JCPOA is a clear net gain for the IAEA," he said. "When the JCPOA is implemented, the additional protocol [with Iran] will be implemented, the IAEA modified Code 3.1, and the transparency measures will be implemented." Modified Code 3.1 requires IAEA States to report on a new nuclear facility as soon as the decision to construct it is taken.

If and when the JCPOA is implemented, Amano said, Iran's nuclear activities will be reduced. If it is not implemented, "We will continue to be limited to implementing the comprehensive safeguards agreement and the dimension of the nuclear activities of Iran will stay the same or expand."

A comprehensive safeguards agreement is one of three types of legal agreements the IAEA concludes with States, and with regional inspectorates, for the application of safeguards. They are concluded with non-nuclear-weapon States party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The other two types of agreement are voluntary offer safeguards agreements with nuclear-weapon States party to the NPT, and item-specific safeguards agreements with non-NPT States.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News