Iran seeks World Bank finance for development projects

TEHRAN – Iranian Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ali Tayyebnia has called the World Bank to provide the country with financial assistance to implement development projects.

In a meeting with the World Bank’s Vice President of the Middle East and North Africa Inger Andersen on the sidelines of the IMF/WB Annual Spring Meeting in Washington, Tayyebnia said the World Bank should help Iran financially implement environment protection, road safety, and natural disaster management projects, the Mehr News Agency reported on Monday.
The World Bank forecasted in its Global Economic Prospects report that Iran’s gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 1 percent in 2014.
The report, which was published in January, predicted 1.8 percent and 2 percent GDP growth for Iran in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Iran’s GDP growth was -1.3 percent in 2013.
In September 2013, the World Bank removed Iran from its list of deadbeat borrowers, saying the Islamic Republic had paid outstanding loan amounts.
The Bank said that its key lending unit, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, “has moved all loans to the Islamic Republic of Iran from non-performing status to performing status following the payment of all overdue amounts on these loans.”
The Bank has not lent any new money to Iran since 2005. It said it complies with United Nations and other international sanctions against the country, AFP reported.
In January, Behrouz Alishiri, the head of Iran’s Organization for Investment and Economic and Technical Assistance, said foreign investors are eager to increase investment in the Islamic Republic following Tehran’s recent nuclear deal with world powers.
“Following the successful negotiations in [the Swiss city of] Geneva, European and Asian investors have started closely competing to invest in Iran,” said, on Tuesday.
Iran and the permanent members of the UN Security Council – Russia, China, the U.S., France, Britain – plus Germany inked a nuclear accord in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, 2013. The two sides started implementing the agreement on January 20.
Under the Geneva deal, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for the Islamic Republic agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities, including a voluntary suspension of its 20-percent uranium enrichment program.
Alishiri said that foreigners wishing to invest in Iran were already returning before any formal easing of the sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

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