RNA - A high-ranking Iranian security official says the efforts made by the administration of US President Donald Trump to block Iran's access to financial and other resources it needs to contain an ongoing pandemic of new coronavirus, known as COVID-19, amount to crime against humanity.
Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), made the remarks in a Sunday Twitter post, saying, “Imposing sanctions [on importation of] hygiene data-x-items is an illegal measure against human rights and [a sign of] Trump's clear animosity toward the Iranian nation.”
The Iranian security chief added, “US opposition to International Monetary Fund (IMF) granting loan to Iran to supply necessary data-x-items to fight coronavirus [pandemic] is a real instance of crime against humanity.”
The United States has refused to lift sanctions on Iran and even tightened them several times in recent weeks, making it almost impossible for the Islamic Republic to access life-saving medications and medical equipment necessary in the fight against the deadly new coronavirus pandemic.
Iran says the unilateral US sanctions have seriously hampered its fight against the pandemic.
A Health Ministry spokesman said on Sunday Iran's death toll from COVID-19 has reached 3,603 among a total of 58,226 infected people.
One hundred and fifty one people have died in the past twenty four hours, Kianush Jahanpur said.
"Fortunately, the recovery process has accelerated and so far 22,011 patients have recovered and been discharged," he added.
In a tweet on March 12, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to extend support to Iran, who is a member state of the Washington-based lender.
IMF's @KGeorgieva has stated that countries affected by #COVID19 will be supported via Rapid Financial Instrument. Our Central Bank requested access to this facility immediately.
IMF/IMF Board should adhere to Fund's mandate, stand on right side of history & act responsibly.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) March 12, 2020
Zarif said the IMF managing director “has stated that countries affected by #COVID19 will be supported via Rapid Financial Instrument. Our Central Bank requested access to this facility immediately.”
In an Instagram post, Abdulnaser Hemmati, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), said Iran has asked the IMF for $5 billion emergency funding to fight a coronavirus pandemic as the number of infections keeps growing in the country.
Hemmati added that he had written to the IMF’s head, Kristalina Georgieva, to stress Iran’s “right to benefit from the fund’s $50-billion Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI).”