News ID: 267635
Published: 0203 GMT April 13, 2020

Iran: US in no legal position to block IMF loan

Iran: US in no legal position to block IMF loan

Iran said on Monday the United States “is in no legal position” to block the country’s request for an emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The US has no right to veto the fund's decisions,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei told a news conference in Tehran, adding,"The Islamic Republic does not foresee such a prospect either."

Sanctions-hit Iran has requested a $5-billion emergency loan from the IMF to battle the outbreak. But the US, which effectively holds a veto at the IMF, has signaled it has no intention of allowing the loan.

Washington has allegedly claimed that Tehran might use the funds to compensate the losses that have been brought about by the sanctions.

Rabiei predicted that the IMF would act independently on the issue and that other members would prevent the US from taking such an inhumane” action.

The spokesman said this was the first time that Tehran had requested such assistance. He considered it to be Irans natural right” to submit the plea given the pressure it is facing from the sanctions on the one hand and the viral outbreak on the other.

He said the US cannot treat world countries and international institutions as its property, and subject them to subordination.

The United States should understand that international institutions are not its property. Nor are other countries its subordinates so it can order them around,” Rabiei said.

 Rabiei also commented on the Central Bank of Irans recent legal battle against the US attempt at seizing $1.6 billion worth of Irans assets that Washington had already blocked at the Luxembourg-based Clearstream, a post-trade service provider.

The US had planned to hand over the funds to, who it calls victims of terror,” as part of its efforts to implicate Tehran in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Iran says any such attempts are a politically-motivated drive and that Washington has been trying to shield the prime suspect Saudi Arabia against any repercussions.

Everyone knows about the September 11 incidents, and it is clear which group carried out the attacks,” adding the acts of terror were perpetrated by Washington-backed extremist groups, Rabiei said.

The US attempt at trying to seize Irans money under such pretext reflects the US administrations arrogant policy and attitude,” he added.

Tehran in 2017 unsuccessfully attempted to repatriate the $1.6 billion frozen in the Clearstream clearing house, a financial company based in Luxembourg.

A judge denied the demand at the time and ruled that the assets would remain temporarily frozen in the small EU nation.

Rabiei said Tehran would try to either return the funds or use them to procure the essential requirements of the Iranian people, including food and medicine.

We have to fight against the coronavirus and the virus of sanctions together,” Rabiei said.

Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018, when US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from a 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers.

Iranian authorities have criticized the sanctions for hampering their efforts to combat the disease.

President Hassan Rouhani also hailed on Sunday Irans legal "victory" over the frozen assets that took place in a "difficult situation".

Rouhani said that "our Central Bank, our foreign ministry [have] recently won a very good victory in a legal battle".

"$1.6 billion of our money was in Luxembourg and the Americans had put their hands on it," he said.

After trying for months, "we succeeded some days ago and freed this money from the Americans' grasp," he declared.

Press TV, Reuters and AFP contributed to this story.



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