News ID: 267301
Published: 0952 GMT April 05, 2020

Shamkhani: US hindering Iran's virus fight, crime against humanity

Shamkhani: US hindering Iran's virus fight, crime against humanity
MEHR

Iran’s top security official said on Sunday the efforts made by the administration of US President Donald Trump to block Tehran’s access to financial and other resources it needs to contain an ongoing pandemic of new coronavirus, known as COVID-19, amount to crime against humanity.

“Imposing sanctions [on import of] hygiene items is an illegal measure against human rights and [a sign of] Trump's clear animosity toward the Iranian nation,” Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, tweeted. 
“US opposition to International Monetary Fund (IMF) granting loan to Iran to supply necessary items to fight coronavirus [pandemic] is a real instance of crime against humanity,” he added.  
The United States has refused to lift sanctions on Iran and even tightened them several times in recent weeks, making it almost impossible for the Islamic Republic to access life-saving medications and medical equipment necessary in the fight against the deadly new coronavirus pandemic. 
Iran says the unilateral US sanctions have seriously hampered its fight against the pandemic which has killed some 3,600 people and sickened more than 58,000.  
In a tweet on March 12, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on the IMF to extend support to Iran, which is a member state of the Washington-based lender. 
Zarif said the IMF managing director “has stated that countries affected by #COVID19 will be supported via Rapid Financial Instrument (RFI). Our Central Bank requested access to this facility immediately.” 
He said the IMF and its board "should adhere to fund's mandate.” 
Iran has not received assistance from the IMF since a "standby credit" issued between 1960 and 1962, according to the fund's data. 
According to the IMF website, the RFI "is available to all member countries facing an urgent balance of payments need." 
In an Instagram post, Abdolnaser Hemmati, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), said Iran has asked the IMF for $5 billion emergency funding to fight the pandemic in a letter to IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva earlier in March.  
Hemmati said in his letter, he had stressed Iran’s “right to benefit from” the RFI.  
Press TV and AFP contributed to this story.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
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