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IAEA asks member states to pay extra cost for Iran deal

VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Friday it needed extra money from member states to fund the 6 million euro ($8.2 million)cost of verifying a landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will play a pivotal role in checking that Iran lives up to its part of the six-month accord by curbing its disputed uranium enrichment activity in exchange for some easing of international sanctions.

The implementation of the agreement - meant to buy time for negotiations on a final settlement of the decade-old nuclear dispute - is due to begin on Monday.

Israel, the United States and other western governments have long suspected Iran of using its nuclear energy program as a cover to develop atomic weapons. Tehran denies this, saying it needs nuclear power to generate electricity.

The IAEA's 35-nation board will hold an extraordinary board session on January 24 to discuss the nuclear agency's increased workload as a result of the interim deal between Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia.

A confidential IAEA report to member states, obtained by Reuters, said: "A number of activities additional to those currently being carried out by the Agency in Iran will need to be conducted to confirm Iran's undertakings" under the agreement hammered out in Geneva nearly two months ago.

They include a significant increase in the frequency of inspections in Iran, access to more sites in the country, a need for more equipment and more analytical work, it said.

"The additional effort will incur increased costs to the Agency," the report, prepared ahead of next week's board meeting, said.

The IAEA's initial estimate of the cost of its monitoring and verification activities in relation to the agreement "is that an additional sum of approximately 6 million euros is needed over the next six months."

Of that amount, "extrabudgetary voluntary contributions of about 5.5 million euros are needed for the initial six-month period," the U.N. agency said.

($1 = 0.7352 euros)

(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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