By staff and agency

EU3 no objecting IMF’s emergency loan to Iran: Germany

April 22, 2020 - 19:25

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Tuesday that Germany, France and the United Kingdom, known as European trio, do not oppose the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) loan to Iran which Tehran needs to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Germany, France and the United Kingdom are three European countries signatory to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran.
 
“In fact, the German government is positive about the possibility of providing the IMF loan to Iran to fight coronavirus and its consequences, but the final vote of the German government depends on a format of the loan the IMF and Iran will agree on,” Maas said after talks with the foreign ministers of Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Austria and Switzerland, UrduPoint News reported.

Iran’s central bank wrote in March to the IMF requesting $5bn from its Rapid Financing Initiative, an emergency program that gives loans to countries facing with sudden shocks such as natural disasters.

It was Tehran’s first request for IMF loan since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Earlier in April, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources from the White House, that the United States was seeking to prevent the IMF from providing loan to Iran.

Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati, in a post on his Instagram page on April 9, wrote, “We expect the IMF to immediately respond to the request of Iran which itself is a founding member of the fund.”

Hemmati has urged the IMF to put politics aside and do its professional duties in regard to Iran’s requests for financial aid during crises, especially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would like to repeat that all UN organizations, say the IMF or WHO, should stay away from politics and deliver on their institutional mandates,” Hemmati said in an interview with Bloomberg published on April 19.

The central banker said, “We were among the first countries who requested support through a Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) on March 6, 2020, more than 40 days ago. Remember, we were among the first five countries who were hit hard by the coronavirus and when the managing director of the IMF announced that the IMF is ready to help countries using the RFI, we, as one of the member countries, submitted our request to access this facility. We have provided all the information and the data that the IMF requires to evaluate our eligibility. This information and the latest economic data are all available in the Central Bank of Iran’s website. I have also written a letter to the IMF’s managing director and expressed our appreciation for what the IMF is doing around the world and have urged her to take our request to the Board of the IMF soon.”

Government spokesperson Ali Rabiei said on April 13 that the United States has no right to prevent the IMF from giving loan to Iran.

“From the legal point of view, the United States is not in the position to obstruct the legal performance of institutions and international organizations,” he said in a press conference.

He added, “The United States must understand that the international institutions are not its property.”

NA/PA

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