Iran warns IMF, says US cannot veto its request for loan
President Hassan Rouhani has warned the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to consider Iran’s request for $5 billion without “discrimination” after reports said the US was seeking to block the loan.
While the IMF has said it is in dialogue with Iranian authorities to understand Iran’s needs and what is required for Tehran's demand to be processed, several reports say the Fund is under the US pressure to forego the request.
According to Press TV, President Rouhani said on Wednesday “We urge all international organizations to fulfill their legal duties. Iran is a member of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and has always paid its shares; some of our resources are at their disposal.”
“If there is to be discrimination between Iran and other countries, it is not tolerable for us and the world's public opinion,” the president added.
Iran’s Central Bank Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati wrote last month to the IMF to request a $5 billion emergency loan for funding Tehran’s needs to fight the novel coronavirus.
"We haven't asked for anything from this fund for the last 50 years even as we have fulfilled our duties. If they [IMF] do not fulfill their duties in these difficult circumstances, the world will have a different take on this issue," Rouhani said.
Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani said over the weekend that the United States was using its clout within the IMF to stonewall the loan request.
The US has the largest number of shares within the IMF, giving it 16.5% of the body’s total votes. Technically, other IMF member countries could amass a majority of votes to approve Iran's loan even with US opposition. The Europeans and many other countries have reportedly come out in favor of the loan.
"Many countries around the world and thinkers have also stated that the International Monetary Fund must fulfill its obligations to the Iranian people," Rouhani said.