2021-April-22 00:58
2021-April-2  17:20

CBI Governor: IMF Must Respond to Iran's Legal Request

TEHRAN (FNA)- Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnasser Hemmati asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to defy the US sanctions and grant the emergency loan requested by Tehran for campaign against the coronavirus outbreak.

Hemmati made the remarks at the webinar of the Spring Meeting of the World Bank Group and the IMF on Thursday.

"The IMF has already given more than $100 billion in loans to 85 countries, adding that the Fund has loaned nearly $16 billion to countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) plus Afghanistan and Pakistan (MENAP) region, but Iran, which was one of the first countries to demand emergency funds, has not received any facilities so far without providing any logical reason," Hemmati said.

"Since the coronavirus outbreak, the economies of countries, especially developing states, have been seriously damaged and Iran is one of the countries most affected by the pandemic in the region," he added.

Hemmati pointed out that despite the sanctions and the maximum pressure imposed by the US, Iran has been able to overcome the problems and take suitable measures.

He described the inaction by the IMF as a clear contradiction to the spirit and goals of an international organization, and said that Iran expects the IMF to respond to its legal request as quickly as possible without discrimination and influence imposed by political lobbyists or pressure from the US.

In a relevant development in late October, Hemmati had underlined that Iran expects the International Monetary Fund to respond to Iran's legitimate demand as soon as possible.

Hemmati made the remarks on Wednesday, addressing the governors of the central banks of the member-states of the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) via video conference.

"It is expected from the IMF to quickly and without any discrimination and without being influenced by political lobbying or pressures from other countries, including the US," Hemmati said, referring to Iran's request for receiving emergency loans from the IMF.

He emphasized that the COVID-19 disease has harmed many countries and Iran has suffered more than many countries, and said, "Despite the severe sanctions of the US and the difficult situation that the country is facing, Iran has managed to contain this issue and make progress with its economic policies."

Hemmati said the present situation has made many world countries face budget and liquidity problems and Iran is not an exception.

"Iran managed to take suitable measures by relying on its legal sources, but the problem is that the illegal US sanctions have deprived Iran of gaining access to its resources in the absence of any acceptable logic," he added.

Hemmati had also in April urged the IMF to resist US pressures and approve his country’s application for financing to help curb the coronavirus.

“The last time I checked, it’s not the United States running the IMF, but its management and the board of governors who oversee the work and ensure that the IMF delivers on its mandate,” Hemmati said.

“We have lost so many lives, as the Americans and Europeans have lost,” he said, appealing directly to the IMF Chair and Managing director Kristalina Georgieva, “The time to act is now,” he added.

According to Hemmati, US sanctions and its decision to add the Iranian central bank to its list of “specially designated nationals and blocked persons” in September 2019 prevent Iran from accessing its own money, which would be “more than enough” to cover the 10 billion-euro shortfall.

In relevant remarks on April 9, he said that the IMF should speed up the process to study Tehran’s request for an emergency loan to fight against the coronavirus, without being influenced by Washington’s opposition.

“We expect the IMF to immediately respond to the request of Iran which itself is a founding member of the Fund,” Hemmati wrote in a post on his Instagram page.

He added that the IMF is expected to consider Iran’s request for a $5 billion loan under its Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI), a mechanism which is available to all member countries facing an urgent balance of payments need.

The chief banker said he had sent a letter to IMF president on April 8 to emphasize the issue and to reiterate that Iran needs the funding to finance a current nationwide fight against the new coronavirus epidemic.

Hemmati expressed hope that the IMF would think about its position as a prestigious financial institution in the world and does not allow Washington to try to tarnish the image of the organization in the current “historic” situation.