U.S. to Block Iran’s Request to IMF for $5 Billion Loan to Fight Coronavirus
The US has stated that it plans to block Iran’s request for $5 billion in emergency aid from the International Monetary Fund. Iran has requested the aid as it continues to fight the COVID-19 virus as the country has been the hardest-hit in the Middle East. However, senior officials in the Trump administration have alleged that the Iranian government still has billion-dollar accounts to rely on. The officials have stated that if the country receives IMF financing, they would be able to divert their other funds to help the economy, or to finance militants in the Middle East rather than on the pandemic.
The controversy is due to the fact that Iranian officials have historically diverted funds allocated for humanitarian efforts either into their own pockets or to terrorist proxies. The IMF is currently facing several urgent funding requests from governments and has stated that it is in communication with Tehran to determine its eligibility for emergency loan. Iran has been one of the worst affected countries to date, and the pandemic has devastated the already reeling economy, which has suffered from sanctions under the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure campaign.”