Tehran (IP)- The Governor of Iran’s Central Bank Abdolnaser Hemmati provided written answers to questions from Bloomberg about the Islamic Republic’s request for around $5 billion in loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fight coronavirus.

Iran PressIran News: Referring to the latest developments on Iran’s recent request for financing from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Governor of Iran’s Central Bank said, “We were among the first countries who requested support through a Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) on March 6, 2020, over 40 days ago."

Hemmati added: "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 required and I have also written a letter to the IMF’s managing director and expressed our appreciation for what they are doing around the world and have urged her to take our request to the Board of the IMF soon.” 

Iran's governor of the Central Bank went on to say: “In terms of how we will use this loan, I have already communicated to the IMF’s management, that the INSTEX and SHTA are readily available vehicles. These are specifically designed to help us import food and medicine. These channels have proper safeguarding mechanisms in place to address all concerns, if any. Besides, this is a good chance to activate these channels as many European countries such as France, Germany, Italy and Spain are trying to activate.”

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Referring to US unilateral sanctions, Hemmati said, “Central Bank reserves are under US sanctions overseas, which is illegal and unilateral, and I want to be clear about this. What we are saying is that the sanctions should be lifted altogether, however, the US government has little regard for international law and order. The US treasury has declared the Swiss channel as a vehicle for humanitarian purposes, the INSTEX is also designed for importing food and medicine, if the US is honest about its claims, we should also be able to use our own reserves through these two channels.”

Noting that Iran has not asked the United States for help,  Governor of Iran’s Central Bank stated, “We have asked the IMF for support: an international, apolitical institution affiliated with the UN, and for which, we were one of the founder members and contributors over the past 75 years. The United States is a member of the IMF as all 190 or so other countries. The last time I checked, the United States is not running the IMF, but it’s management and the Board of Governors who oversee the administration must ensure that the IMF delivers on its mandate. However, 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.”

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