SHERMAN CRITICIZES ADMINISTRATION FOR FAILING TO PREVENT LOANS TO IRAN
"This decision shows that many of our friends in Europe and Asia, those who pushed this loan forward, are incredibly misguided when it comes to the regime in Tehran," Sherman said. "Unfortunately, this vote is demonstrative of the fact that our own government has not made the case with our allies that this regime should be isolated, not supported. The president did not raise the issue at the G-8 meeting and the Administration indicated that it would continue its support by requesting that Congress appropriate over $750 million in 2004 for the World Bank, despite the World Bank loans to the government in Tehran."
Sherman has long been concerned that, in addition to providing material support for the Iranian regime, World Bank loans, which are approved by a board made up of the most powerful Western democracies, serve as a stamp of approval for the regime in Tehran. While the US representative at the World Bank is required to vote against any loans to Iran, Sherman has been critical of the lack of effort on the part of the Bush Administration to fight lending to Iran beyond the legal requirement to vote "no."
"The civilized world should be united in a tough policy against this regime. Instead, while we accuse this regime of harboring al Qaeda, our friends push projects such as this one, and we take only token efforts to prevent them."
In addition to this latest approval, a smaller package of $20 million was approved earlier this year. In 2000, the Bank approved loans of $231 million for Iran. Bank officials have stated that they "envision" loaning several hundred million to Iran in coming years.