(posted Oct. 11, 10:30 a.m.)- Members of the National Assembly’s directorate and their spouses attended an honorary dinner offered Monday night by Iranian Ambassador Morteza Khalaj.
The dinner was to “exchange experiences, bring our countries closer together and renew the politics of friendship between the governments of Nicaragua and Iran,” said National Assembly president René Núñez, according to a press release.
Núñez also mentioned that the dinner party talked about Iranian aid for Nicaragua, but didn’t mention any specifics.
Last May, Iran offered to pardon Nicaragua’s $164 million cold war debt and offered a new $250 million loan for development.
Nicaragua has not yet said how it will use the loan, which has not yet been approved by the National Assembly.
“We’ll have to see where we put the money,” Ortega said vaguely last May. The president has not referred to the loan since.
In 2007, Iran promised to build a $230 million hydroelectric plant and a $350 million deep-water port on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. Though neither project happened, Iran’s overtures of friendship with Nicaragua have been cause for concern and speculation in both the United States and Israel.
Still, five years after reestablishing diplomatic relations between Tehran and Managua, the only visible Iranian investment in Managua has been a $1 million health clinic in Managua.