CroatiaCancels Deal With Iran
The Associated Press, Wed 19 Jun 2002
ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Following aU.S. request, Croatia has canceled a $12 million deal with Iran to buildamphibian military patrol ships, local media reported Wednesday.
``Croatia gave up a business deal with a Middle East country, worth severalmillion U.S. dollars,'' because of cooperation with the U.S.-ledanti-terror coalition, Croatian Foreign Minister Tonino Picula told a parliamentcommittee Tuesday.
Picula did not identify the country, but the Vecernji List newspaper, citingunidentified government officials, said Wednesday that Croatia was supposed tobuild amphibian military patrol ships for Iran worth $12 million.
Washington has offered another deal, worth about $10 million,as a sort of compensation, Picula told a committee in charge of foreign policy.
Picula, who was asked whether the country of 4.5 million people suffered anyeconomic damage for siding with the United States in its war on terror, declinedto say more on either deal.
The Vecernji List said the boats were to be armed withcannons and heavy machine guns. Iran apparently opted for Croatia because two ofits shipyards have military-oriented capabilities and because its boats wereknown to be of high quality.
The deal would have been a desired financial injection for Croatian shipyardsand the entire economy, ruined by war, corruption and failure to seriouslycompete on Western markets.
In January, President Bush said Iran, Iraq and North Koreawere part of an ``axis of evil.'