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Sri Lanka to sidestep sanctions on Iran: Report

Published on Nov 25, 2012 6:50 PM

COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka will sidestep US-led sanctions against Iran by diverting its oil payments towards a water management project that Tehran is funding in the island, a senior official was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Two billion rupees (S$18.78 million) owed to Iran for oil will be used to finance the Uma Oya irrigation scheme, Sri Lankan Water Resources Secretary Ivan de Silva told the local Sunday Times.

Iran had pledged some US$450 million (S$550 million) for the water project in 2008 but implementation had been delayed due to lack of cash.

"Because of the US sanctions, there is a delay in transferring funds from Iran to Sri Lanka," Mr Silva said, adding that both governments had agreed to the deal.

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