Bolivia, Iran seek closer military ties

Nov. 1, 2010 at 2:44 PM
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LA PAZ, Bolivia, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Bolivia has expressed interest in possibly purchasing Iranian-made military planes, helicopters for training purposes.

According to Bolivian Finance Minister Luis Arce, his government is considering Iran's Fajr-3, S-68 and 52-seat Iran-140 aircraft along with four-seat helicopters, Radio Patria Nueva reported Monday.

Last week Bolivian President Evo Morales and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad signed a $287 million credit line for Bolivia and five memorandums of understanding, mainly on industrial cooperation and technology transfer.

Arce told journalists: "I think that quickly implementing these is critical to receive the benefits of these agreements that really will provide a unique framework for the nation to join in (Iran's) production and technological innovation in the country. In the near future Bolivian missions and business delegations are expected to travel to Iran to begin the implementation of these projects."

Arce added that his government hopes for Iran's cooperation in eventually constructing a nuclear power plant for peaceful purposes and Iranian support in maintaining Bolivian air force fighters.

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