Virus-hit Iran urges IMF to approve its loan request Apr 09, 2020 0 359 12345 AFPTehranIranian President Hassan Rouhani urged the InternationalMonetary Fund on Wednesday to give the sanctions-hit country a $5 billion emergency loan to combat its novel coronavirus outbreak.The Islamic republic is battling one of the world’s deadliest coronavirus outbreaks which it says has killed more than 3,800 people and infected more than 62,500.There has been speculation abroad that the real number of deaths and infections could be higher.Iran has said it needs the funds to continue fighting the virus.But its arch enemy the United States, which effectively holds a veto at the IMF, is reportedly set to block the loan, arguing Iran will use the funds for military purposes.“I urge all international organisations to fulfil their duties,” Rouhani said during a cabinet meeting.“We are a member of the IMF... if there’s going to be any discrimination between Iran and others in giving loans, neither we nor world opinion will tolerate it.”Iran announced on March 12 that it had requested the loan.The country has not received assistance from the IMF since a “standby credit” issued between 1960 and 1962, according to IMF figures.According to the IMF’s website, a Rapid Financial Instrument “is available to all member countries facing an urgent balance of payments need”.“If they do not act on their duties in this difficult situation, the world will judge them in a different way,” Rouhani said.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a recent interview that Iran would use any economic relief to pursue nuclear weapons and back Shiite militias in Iraq that the administration blames for a wave of attacks on bases used by US troops.“You see the way... the regime is treating their people in this time of enormous crisis. You see the way that they continue to spend money,” Pompeo told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.US President Donald Trump’s administration has waged a campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran since it withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal in 2018.It has since imposed wave after wave of crippling sanctions that target key sectors of Iran’s economy such as oil sales and banking.Iran has repeatedly called on the Trump administration to reverse its sanctions policy, which has been opposed even by US allies, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Afghan government says 100 Taliban prisoners freed Apr 09, 2020 0 396 Oman locks down capital Muscat to contain coronavirus Apr 09, 2020 0 1424 Several killed in tribal conflict in east of Afghanistan Apr 09, 2020 0 217 Syria responsible for 2017 chemical attacks: OPCW AFP The Hague The world’s chemical weapons watchdog on Wednesday for the first time explicitly blamed Syria for toxic attacks in the country, saying President Bashar al-Assad’s regime used sarin and chlorine three .. Iran’s president outlines three-phase lifting of COVID-19 lockdown Tehran Iran’s president on Wednesday described how his country will go about lifting coronavirus lockdown measures as the outbreak is slowly brought under control. “Of course we don’t want any more coronavirus .. Iran continues work on nuclear programme despite pandemic Tehran Iran is continuing to develop its nuclear programme even as the Covid-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on the country, the government said on Wednesday. Ali Akbar Salehi, who heads Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, .. Half-a-million more Zimbabweans now acutely hungry: WFP Harare The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said on Wednesday that hundreds of thousands more people had slipped into the severely-hungry category in Zimbabwe, where over half of the population faces hunger. .. Egypt extends night-time curfew for two weeks to fight coronavirus DPA Cairo Egypt will extend its night-time curfew for another two weeks until April 23, which is aimed at preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus, the prime minister said on Wednesday. Egypt initially imposed the ..