“The United States should understand that international institutions are not its property. Nor are other countries its subordinates so it can order them around,” the Iranian administration’s spokesman Ali Rabiei told a news conference in Tehran on Monday.
Iran has submitted a request for a $5 billion emergency loan, which it needs to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
According to latest figures released on Monday, the viral disease has so far killed 4,585 people and infected 73,303 in the country. Tehran has required that the loan be provided under the Fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI), a mechanism which is available to all member states facing an urgent balance of payments need.
Media reports have suggested in recent weeks that the US administration, which is refusing to lift its sanctions against the Islamic Republic despite the outbreak, is also trying to hamper Iran’s access to the funding. Washington has allegedly claimed that Tehran might use the funds to compensate the losses that have been brought about by the sanctions.
Rabiei said the US is in no legal position to block the loan.
“The Islamic Republic does not foresee such a prospect either,” he added, predicting that the IMF would act independently on the issue and that other members would prevent Washington from taking such an “inhumane” action.
President Rouhani: IMF must fulfill its duties without bias against IranIran
The spokesman said this was the first time that Tehran had requested such assistance. He considered it to be Iran’s “natural right” to submit the plea given the pressure it is facing from the sanctions on the one hand and the viral outbreak on the other.
Rabiei also commented on the Central Bank of Iran’s recent victory in a legal battle against the US attempt at seizing $1.6 billion worth of Iran’s assets that Washington had already blocked at the Luxembourg-based Clearstream, a post-trade service provider.
The US had planned to hand over the funds to, who it calls “victims of terror,” as part of its efforts to implicate Tehran in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Iran says any such attempts are a politically-motivated drive and that Washington has been trying to shield the prime suspect Saudi Arabia against any repercussions.
Rabiei likewise said, “Everyone knows about the September 11  incidents, and it is clear which group carried out the attacks,” adding the acts of terror were perpetrated by Washington-backed extremist groups.
The US attempt at trying to seize Iran’s money under such pretext “reflects the US administration’s arrogant policy and attitude,” he added.
The official finally said Tehran would try to either return the funds or use them to procure the essential requirements of the Iranian people, including food and medicine.