Despite Israeli and US objections, World Bank officials will meet Thursday in Washington to consider a plan that would award Iran $755 million in development loans over the next two years and lay the groundwork for more financial and advisory assistance in the future, reported the Jerusalem Post.
The bank's executive directors will base their decisions on a 28-page document on an "interim assistance strategy" for Iran, which argues that the bank's lending and non-lending assistance would help it achieve internal economic reform and attract foreign investment.
The internal memo, obtained by the paper, states that Iran's "economic prosperity, social progress, and greater integration into the world economy will not only bring benefits for the Iranian population but will also have important spill-over effects for the region."
In May 2000, Israel, the US, and Jewish groups failed to block approval of two loans for Iran: $87 million for health services and $145 million for the Teheran sewage project, said the paper.
According to the paper, Israel’s Finance Minister Silvan Shalom has recently asked World Bank President James Wolfensohn to block the loan.
Bur Wolfensohn refused Israel’s demand, said the Post.
According to daily, the pro-Israel lobby has yet to mount a campaign against the loans, since it sees Thursday’s meeting as only a preliminary step in the allocation process. The money, if approved, would not be transferred until at least 2002 – Albawaba.com
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