Coronavirus: Iran requests $ 5 billion loan from IMF after death toll exceeds 4,000

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Hassan Rouhani said international public opinion would not tolerate discrimination against Iran

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AFP

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Hassan Rouhani said international public opinion would not tolerate discrimination against Iran


Iran has urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to approve a $ 5 billion (£ 4 billion) emergency loan to help fight the coronavirus, as the death toll exceeds 4,000.

President Hassan Rouhani warned that “there should be no discrimination” in approving the requests.

The United States has reportedly objected to the loan, with officials saying Iran has sufficient funds.

Rouhani called the pressure campaign “a historic shame”.

President Donald Trump reinstated U.S. sanctions in 2018 in an effort to force Iranian leaders to renegotiate a nuclear deal with world powers, but have so far refused.

Iran is the Middle East country hardest hit by the Covid-19 virus, which has infected more than 1.4 million people worldwide and killed 82,000.

The Iranian health ministry said on Wednesday that the number of people who tested positive in the country had increased from 1,997 to 67,286, and the death toll had increased by 121 to 4,003.

Last month, the Central Bank of Iran requested a $ 5 billion loan from the IMF’s Rapid Financing Initiative, an emergency program set up to help countries facing sudden shocks such as disasters natural.

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AFP

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Members of the Basij paramilitary force manufacture protective equipment in Tehran


The IMF said it was in talks with Iranian officials to determine its eligibility for the loan.

However, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States – the largest shareholder in the IMF – plans to block demand.

He quoted senior Trump officials as saying that the Iranian government still had billions of dollars in bank accounts and that the loan could be used to help its economy rather than to fight Covid-19 or finance terrorist operations.

At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, President Rouhani said that the expected international organizations must “act in accordance with their legally binding obligations” in times of crisis.

“We are a member of the International Monetary Fund,” he said. “We asked them for a loan and if they discriminate between Iran and other countries, it is clear that neither we nor world public opinion will tolerate it,” he added. .

Rouhani also reiterated that US sanctions on the Iranian economy had limited his ability to get the supplies he needed to fight Covid-19.

“It will go down in history that House While was, even before now, a terrorist in economic matters, but now it is also a terrorist in medical treatment.”

“It will be recorded as a historic disgrace,” he added.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday called on the United States to stop preventing Iran from selling its oil.

The Trump administration has denied that sanctions are blocking aid to Iran, saying the United States maintains authorizations that allow the sale of food, agricultural products, drugs and medical devices.

He also noted that Iran had refused a US offer of humanitarian aid and medical supplies.

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