Iran presses IMF for emergency loans
Published : Thursday, 9 April, 2020 at 4:41 PM Count : 171
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday called for a $5 billion in emergency loans from the International Monetary Fund to fight the worst coronavirus outbreak, saying it will be guilty of discrimination if it withholds the money.
Rouhani also said some business will remain closed until further notice after authorities announcelast week they will begin to ease a shutdown from April 11.
Iran's central bank last month requested $5 billion from the International Financing Fund (IMF) from the Rapid Financing Initiative, an emergency that left countries suffering a sudden setback like a natural disaster.
This was Tehran's first request for IMF support after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.
"I urge international companies to fulfill their responsibilities ... We are members of the IMF," Rouhani told a cabinet meeting. "There should be no discrimination in giving."
In a tweet on Sunday, Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani accused the United States of obstructing Tehran's IMF loan application.
Iran has banned inter-city travel and shut down unnecessary trade to fight the outbreak that, according to official statistics, killed 5,000 people and infected 647,586.
Mohammad Marandi, a professor of American studies at Tehran University, told Al Jazeera on Tehran's phone that he agreed with Rouhani's insistence that refusal of loans was "discrimination against Iran" so far.
He said the United States and other Western nations have harmed the Iranian people during this crisis as the epidemic spreads to the world.-Internet