World Bank removes Iran from list of non-payers

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The World Bank removed Iran from its list of deadbeat borrowers on Friday, 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 had placed Iran's account on non-performing status on July 16, when the country fell six months in arrears in paying US$79.1 million (S$99 million) on nearly US$700 million in outstanding loan principal.

The Bank did not say how much Iran had paid to be removed from the list.

But it said the remaining principal Iran owes is around US$616 million.

The Bank has not lent any new money to Iran since 2005. It said it complies with United Nations and other international sanctions set against the country to force it to give up alleged ambitions to develop nuclear weapons.

Tehran insists that its nuclear programmes are all aimed at peaceful uses.