Iranian dissidents oppose IMF loan to Tehran’s rulers

The clerical regime has sufficient funds to combat coronavirus, says group.

Iranian women wear protective masks to prevent contracting coronavirus, as they walk in the street in Tehran, Iran February 25, 2020. (photo credit: NAZANIN TABATABAEE/WANA VIA REUTERS)
Iranian women wear protective masks to prevent contracting coronavirus, as they walk in the street in Tehran, Iran February 25, 2020.
(photo credit: NAZANIN TABATABAEE/WANA VIA REUTERS)
BERLIN -- A prominent group of Iranian dissidents and political and human-rights activists of Iranian national origin on Friday urged the International Monetary Fund not send a $5 billion loan to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s ruling class because Tehran can afford to combat the coronavirus without it.
“This request, in our view, is not justified and is based on false pretenses,” the signatories wrote to the IMF. “Iran holds high levels of foreign-reserve assets by the central bank that, according to the central bank, stood at about $117 billion in December 2019. This amount covers more than 14 months of the country’s imports (as also confirmed in IMF 2018 report of Iran), a level generally considered very favorably relative to international standards.”
The IMF is currently reviewing Iran’s request.

“We are deeply concerned about the well-being of our loved ones and the people of Iran and particularly troubled by the approach of the government of Iran in dealing with this pandemic,” the signatories wrote, adding: “We have strong reservations with respect to the provision of direct financial support by the IMF to the government of Iran and respectfully urge the IMF and the international community to focus their efforts and goodwill on helping the Iranian people through direct and well-targeted provisions of medical supplies and technical capacities.”
“We have the firm view that constant claims of the government of Iran in international media about problems with the import of medical supplies are misleading and based on inaccurate claims,” they wrote. “According to its own official sources, Iran imported $2.4 billion [worth of] pharmaceuticals and medical equipment and supplies in the 2018 fiscal year.”
“As recently stated by its governor, Iran’s central bank provided $4 billion in financing for the import of medicine and medical supplies in the first 10 months of 2019. As stated by Iran’s central bank, with steps taken, financing of medical supplies is assured,” the letter said.
The signatories also posted a video on social media with the hashtag #DoNotEaseSanctions regarding Iran’s regime.
People of Iranian origin addressed the Islamic Republic’s alleged nefarious activities.
Writing on Twitter, Reza Behrouz, a prominent Iranian-American physician and dissident based in San Antonio, wrote: “the Iranians in the US + elsewhere in the world ask the US Govt not to ease sanctions on the mullah regime. The campaign calling for sanctions relief is a ruse by @JZarif @NIACouncil to bankroll the regime’s atrocities. Not a dime is meant for fighting COVID19. #DoNotEaseSanctions”
Behrouz included the Twitter accounts of the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) in his tweet. NIAC supported the Iran nuclear deal and is viewed by critics as an entity that supports appeasement policies toward the clerical regime in Tehran.
The US pulled out the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 because the Trump administration said the agreement permits Tehran to eventually build nuclear weapons.
US governments have repeatedly classified Iran's regime as the worst state sponsor of terrorism.