Japan said Thursday it was extending a 69-million-dollar-loan to help complete an Iranian power project, ahead of next week's visit to Tokyo by Iranian President Mohammed Khatami.
The state-run Japan Bank for International Cooperation said it would lend 7.49 billion yen (69 million dollars) for the Masjid-e Soleiman hydroelectric power project in southwest Iran.
The project, run by the Iran Water and Power Resources Development Co., involves the construction of a rock-fill dam and a 2,000-megawatt underground power plant in Iran's Karoon river basin.
The official Japanese bank lent 38.6 billion-yen for the first phase of the ambitious project in June 1993, and it said in a statement that the new loan aimed to help finance the remaining work.
The announcement comes just before Khatami arrives on Tuesday to pay the first official visit to Japan by a top Iranian leader in 42 years. He will hold talks with Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori during his four-day visit.
Mori is expected to lend support to the Iranian leader's reform efforts, and he also wants to help improve relations between Iran and its arch-foe the United States, according to Japan's foreign ministry – TOKYO (AFP)
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