U.N. nuclear agency board to meet next week on Iran deal

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano addresses the media after a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna November 28, 2013. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader (Reuters)

VIENNA (Reuters) - The 35-nation governing board of the U.N. nuclear agency will meet next week to discuss its role in verifying the implementation of a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers, it said on Wednesday. Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said he had requested a board meeting to be held on January 24, four days after the six-month accord is due to start taking effect. His statement confirmed a Reuters report on Tuesday, which cited diplomats. The IAEA will have a pivotal role in checking that Iran lives up to its part of the deal with the United States, France, Russia, Britain, China and Germany to curb its nuclear activity in return for some sanctions easing. Diplomats say the IAEA, which will increase the frequency of inspections in Iran, is likely to need to send more staff there and faces extra costs of roughly 5 million euros, some of which will need to be funded through voluntary member state contributions. Amano said he had received a request from Iran and the six powers that the IAEA conducts monitoring and verification of nuclear-related measures in relation to the so-called Joint Plan of Action, which they hammered out in Geneva on November 24. He said he would "consult" with the IAEA board about the request, suggesting he may not be seeking its formal approval. Diplomats say they do not expect problems in the board discussions and also that there will not be major difficulties in finding the money to pay for the IAEA's increased work in Iran. The agreement between Iran and the six powers is designed to buy time for negotiations on a final settlement of the decade-old dispute over Tehran's nuclear program. Iran rejects Western allegations that it has been seeking to develop the capability to make nuclear weapons. (Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Andrew Roche)