World Bank Vote on Iran Loans Delayed
The World Bank's board of directors delayed voting on two controversial loans to Iran, leaving consideration of the already postponed $231 million in financing uncertain, an Iranian official was quoted by Reuters as saying Tuesday.
The loans, the first to Iran since 1994, would help fund projects for sewerage and education. They were to be considered by the bank's board last month, added Reuters.
Iran News Agency (IRNA) said Tuesday that a World Bank official said an unidentified executive director had requested a delay on the vote.
"Another date should be decided upon soon," the World Bank's official said.
According to Reuters, the United States is expected to vote against the loans.
The US has 18 percent of the votes on the bank's 24-member board, but a simple majority approval would enable the financing.
The World Bank's last loan to Iran was in 1994, before the United States accused Tehran of sponsoring state terrorism and passed the Iran Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) in 1996 which imposed sanctions on both countries and those doing business with them.
Iran denied the charges and its ministers now want Washington to modify its stance, added IRNA.
The larger of the two loans, for $145 million, would improve wastewater collection and distribution for some 2.1 million people in greater Tehran, allowing private sector involvement in improve the quality of primary health care and family planning services in the sector.
The second loan, for $86 million, would both rural and urban areas, said Reuters - (Agencies)
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