Kuwait approves plan to pipe water from Iran

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The Independent Online

Kuwait has approved the technical aspects of a plan to pipe fresh water from Iran, but is considering the cost of the venture, the minister of electricity and water said in remarks published today.

Kuwait has approved the technical aspects of a plan to pipe fresh water from Iran, but is considering the cost of the venture, the minister of electricity and water said in remarks published today.

Talal al–Ayyar said ministry officials would meet within 10 days to discuss the financial side of the project, the newspaper Al–Rai Al–Amm reported.

Kuwait has not released any details about the project, which would cost about US$2 billion and eventually supply about 200 million litres of drinking water a day, according to reports broadcast earlier this year.

Al–Ayyar said he discussed the technical side of the scheme with officials on Tuesday. "From that angle, we have approved it," he said.

The project is said to entail a 335–mile pipeline that would take water from a dam in northern Iran to the coast, where it would run under the Gulf to Kuwait.

Kuwaiti–Iranian ties deteriorated during the 1980–88 Iran–Iraq war because of Kuwait's financial support for Baghdad.

But Iran took a neutral stand during the 1991 Gulf War that ended a seven–month Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. Relations have warmed since Iranians elected the moderate President Mohammad Khatami in 1977.

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