US blocks Iran’s request to IMF for $ 5 billion loan to fight coronavirus
US plans to block $ 5 billion emergency loan Iran requested from International Monetary Fund to fund Tehran says it must fight its coronavirus crisis.
Senior Trump administration officials have said the Iranian government still has $ 1 billion in accounts at its disposal. If allowed to tap IMF funding, officials said, Tehran could then divert those or other funds to help its economy, which has been weakened by US sanctions, or fund activists in the Middle East, rather than contain the pandemic.
“Iranian officials have long diverted funds allocated for humanitarian goods into their own pockets and from their terrorist proxies,” one administration official said.
The IMF, which faces urgent funding requests from many governments, said it was in talks with Tehran to determine its eligibility for an emergency loan.
The pandemic has torn across Iran, one of the most affected countries, and rocked an Iranian economy already shaken by the Trump administration’s sanctions under its “Maximum pressure campaign”. Despite calls from some aid groups and other countries to ease sanctions, the administration has instead said it will keep pressuring Tehran.