Coronavirus Surge Sends Iran to IMF for First Time in 60 Years

Iran is seeking financial aid from the International Monetary Fund for the first time since the 1960s as it tries to fight a major outbreak of the coronavirus, Bloomberg News reported. Abdolnaser Hemmati, the head of the Central Bank of Iran, said in an Instagram post that he requested approximately $5 billion from the body’s Rapid Financing Instrument. The fund has said it would make $50 billion available to help member countries deal with the epidemic. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on the Washington-based body to allow the Islamic Republic to access the facility “immediately” and “stand on the right side of history & act responsibly,” according to a tweet. Iran is the third-worst hit country after China and Italy, with 429 people dead. Iran’s still awaiting a formal response from the IMF, Hemmati said in a brief statement to reporters shown on Iranian state TV. Read more