- Title: NICARAGUA: Nicaragua and Iran sign agreements as they strengthen bilateral ties
- Date: 6th August 2007
- Summary: (BN12) MANAGUA, NICARAGUA (AUGUST 4, 2007) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF MEETING BETWEEN IRANIAN DELEGATION AND NICARAGUA'S PRESIDENT DANIEL ORTEGA (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRAN'S DEPUTY ENERGY MINISTER HAMID CHITCHIAN SAYING: "With God's help, the commission celebrates this first session to which we are all witnesses and the execution phase of the project." GENERAL VIEW OF SIGNING CEREMONY (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) NICARAGUA'S PRESIDENT DANIEL ORTEGA SAYING: "We have already signed the plan for the construction of 10,000 houses. We will initiate in October the first phase to construct the first 1,000 houses." VARIOUS OF PRESIDENT ORTEGA PRESENTING IRANIAN DELEGATION WITH GIFT AND IRANIAN DELEGATION PRESENTING NICARAGUA WITH GIFT
- Reuters ID: LVADRKVFZ529W6279RKIUA38IOYG
- Location: Nicaragua
- Country: Nicaragua
- Duration: 00:02:34
- Topics: International Relations
- Story Text: Iran signs agreements with Nicaragua to fund a new ocean port and to build thousands of homes as part of a burgeoning relationship between the two countries. The U.S. has said that Iran could be a "problematic"
partner for Nicaragua.
Iran promised to help fund a new 350 million U.S. dollars ocean port and build 10,000 houses for the cash-strapped leftist Nicaraguan government on Saturday (August 4) in a sign of deepening of ties with Tehran that worries the United States.
Iran also pledged to choose in November a site for a 120 million U.S.
dollars hydroelectric project to help Nicaragua overcome a power crisis marked by daily blackouts in the Central American nation.
Despite U.S. warnings, President Daniel Ortega is building alliances with anti-Washington countries such as Venezuela and Iran, which are flush with cash from high world oil prices and eager to win friends in Latin America.
The deep-water port on the Caribbean coast would be a first for Nicaragua.
Venezuela would also provide funding for the project, Ortega told a news conference.
"We have already signed the plan for the construction of 10,000 houses. We will initiate in October the first phase to construct the first 1,000 houses," Ortega said.
Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla and Cold War veteran who won power for a second time in January, is eager for help to end power blackouts that hurt his popularity.
Ortega met Iranian Deputy Energy Minister Hamid Chitchian on Wednesday (August 1) to try to convince Iran to help build several hydroelectric plants in Nicaragua to held end the power crisis. Iran has committed to just one plant for now.
In return, Nicaragua hopes to increase its farm exports to Iran, mainly coffee, meat and bananas.
Venezuela this year shipped large electricity generators to Nicaragua and these have helped shorten the blackouts.
Ortega also said that he has sought Brazil's aid to end the energy crisis. Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva will visit Nicaragua next week.
The Iranian visit followed Ortega's trip to Tehran in June and a visit to Managua in January by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an archfoe of Washington.
Ortega, who insists he wants good relations with Washington, has also upgraded ties with U.S. enemies Cuba and North Korea since he was sworn in almost 17 years after voters threw him out of office.
The U.S. Embassy in Managua was not immediately available for comment.
U.S. officials have said that Iran could be a "problematic" partner for Nicaragua.
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