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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Iran to pay for its own 'nuclear inspections'?

With the IAEA looking for money to pay for inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, the US State Department suggested on Wednesday another source of payment aside from the American taxpayer: Iran itself.
John Kirby, a spokesman for the Department of State, declined to answer multiple questions about how international inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites would be paid for by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is requesting at least $10 million to carry out the work.
The United States will likely fund some portion of the cost, and Kirby left open the possibility that Iran could also foot some of the bill.
The matter has been the subject of much speculation in recent days after it came to light that Iran would be permitted to inspect its own nuclear sites, raising the possibility that Iran could continue to hide nuclear weapons work.
“I don’t have any specific funding contributions to speak to today in terms of amount,” Kirby told reporters. “We’re still working our way through that. I do want to add that we have every intention to continue to contribute to the IAEA for the purpose of this—doing this very important work of the verification of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments.”
“I won’t speak for Iran,” Kirby added. “I don’t know what, if any, commitments Iran has or will engender under this, but we’ve—as we noted in the statement, we’re committed to working with all the member states to ensure that the IAEA has the resources that it needs.”
When pressed to explain whether the United States would pay for Iran to inspect its own nuclear sites or press the Iranian government to foot the bill, Kirby demurred.
“Honestly don’t have a specific answer for you in that regard,” Kirby told reporters. “I mean, again, we’re going to contribute—continue to contribute to the IAEA and their funding needs specifically as it relates to this deal. And it’s not just us; we want other member states to do it as well.”
“I’ll let Iran speak for itself in terms of what, if any, contributions it plans to make,” he added.
“But I don’t know that I would characterize the funding resources applied to IAEA and their need to do this work as sort of then paying for any efforts done by Iranian officials to meet compliance.”
Matthew Lee, a reporter for the Associated Press, continued to question Kirby on the issue.
“Well, I mean, someone’s got to pay for it,” Lee said. “They’re not going to work for free, whoever they are, whether they’re Iranians or they’re from Djibouti.”
“Well, I’m assuming many of them are government—work for the government of Iran,” Kirby responded.
 What could go wrong?

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