Iran erases $164 million of Nicaraguan debt

May 30, 2012

MANAGUA – Iran remitted $164 million of Nicaraguan debt in a gesture to strengthen economic relations with the government of Daniel Ortega, Iranian Vice President Ali Saeidlo said during a visit to Managua this week.

“I wanted to take this trip to announce this news to you personally,” Saeidlo said on Tuesday. “We are ready to forgive Nicaragua’s debt.”

The debt forgiveness was one of the agreements that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised Ortega after the Nicaraguan leader’s return to power in 2007. Ortega thanked Iran and said his government is “also ready” to boost trade and investment between the two nations.

Nicaragua’s $58 million debt was acquired during Ortega’s first term in the 1980s and grew to $164 million with interest.

Saeidlo arrived in Managua on Monday night from Cuba and plans to continue his tour of other allied countries in the region, including Ecuador.

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