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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Iran gives $1 billion in credit to Iraq

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer
Tue May 1, 9:46 PM ET

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran has extended $1 billion in credits for reconstruction projects in Iraq, a senior official said Tuesday ahead of an international conference on stabilizing Iraq.

Ali Larijani, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, said a committee of experts from both countries was discussing possible development projects, including some involving energy, the state-run news agency IRNA reported.

"We are prepared for implementation of economic projects in Iraq. For this purpose, we have allocated $1 billion in credit," IRNA quoted Larijani as saying.

His comments came two days before Iran joins the United States, European powers and Arab countries at a conference in Egypt to discuss a plan for stabilizing Iraq.

Iran's decision to participate has raised the possibility of a rare direct encounter between high-level U.S. and Iranian officials.

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