Last month, the Islamic Republic asked the IMF for $5 billion in loans to help finance its efforts to combat the disease. IMF officials have said the fund is proceeding with Iran’s request, but the US has pledged to block the application.
Hemmati touched on the loss of lives to the coronavirus in Iran, appealing directly to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva to approve the request.
“We have lost so many lives, as the Americans and Europeans have lost, and my thoughts and prayers go with them,” Hemmati said in an interview with Bloomberg. “The time to act is now,” he added.
Earlier this month, Iran’s Vice President for economic affairs Mohammad Nahavandian said the US has no right to block the loan after US media reports said Washington planned to veto the Islamic Republic’s request.
There is a perception that the US dominates the IMF, that the fund is in effect an instrument of the US Treasury Department, and thereby Washington undermines the legitimacy of the organization.