World

Virus-hit Iran urges IMF to approve its loan request

Virus-hit Iran urges IMF to approve its loan request
Iran says it has confirmed more than 62,500 coronavirus infections and more than 3,800 deaths. (AP)

Tehran, Apr 8 (AFP) Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani appealed to the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday to approve a USD 5 billion emergency loan request to combat its novel coronavirus outbreak.

“I urge all international organisations to fulfil their duties,” Rouhani said during a cabinet meeting.

“We are a member of the IMF… if there’s going to be any discrimination between Iran and others in giving loans, neither us nor world opinion will tolerate it,” he said in televised remarks.

Iran announced on March 12 that it had requested the loan from the IMF to help fight what was then one of the world’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreaks.

Iran has not received assistance from the IMF since a “standby credit” issued between 1960 and 1962, according to IMF figures.

According to the IMF’s website, a Rapid Financial Instrument “is available to all member countries facing an urgent balance of payments need”.

Iran says it has confirmed more than 62,500 coronavirus infections and more than 3,800 deaths. But there has been speculation abroad that the real number of deaths and infections could be higher.

“If they do not act on their duties in this difficult situation, the world will judge them in a different way,” Rouhani said.