Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council has accused the United States of “crime against humanity” for what he says is Washington’s role in blocking Tehran’s request for an emergency IMF loan.
Revolutionary Guard general Ali Shamkhani tweeted April 5 that “America’s opposition to the granting of a loan by International Monetary Fund to Iran for securing needed supplies to fight the coronavirus is a real example of crime against humanity”.
Iran had applied for a $5 billion loan from the IMF in March for the first time since 1962. The country is the worst hit by the pandemic in the Middle East with thousands dead and tens of thousands infected. However, there is little international confidence in the Islamic Republic’s transparency and financial responsibility in using such funds.
In the end of his tweet Shamkhani added a hashtag saying, “Trump is more dangerous than corona”.
Iran has also launched a diplomatic campaign to force Washington to suspend its tough economic sanctions that were imposed in 2018 to force Tehran to negotiate over its nuclear and missile programs, as well as its regional policies.
The IMF announced the first tranche of an emergency loan package to developing countries to help them overcome the economic consequences of the global pandemic. The biggest recipient was India with one billion dollars, while Iran’s neighbors Pakistan and Afghanistan also received smaller amounts.
Iran, which is accused of supporting militant groups and Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, has also refused to ratify economic legislation mandated by the international community to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism.
The European Union had promised to support Iran’s application for the IMF loan, but it is not clear if the United States has directly blocked the request or the IMF has not made a decision yet.