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 authorities have a new target in their bid to calm the country’s economic turmoil: meat-market manipulators, The Wall Street Journal reported. During the two-week celebration of the Persian New Year that ended April 5, Iranians found that putting food on their tables is far more expensive than before. The price of veal and beef increased 67% last year, while mutton had jumped 52% and chicken had become 63% more expensive, the Central Bank of Iran said.
As its economy buckles, Iran is zealously cracking down on financial fraud, the Wall Street Journal reported. Central to its efforts is a fast-track fraud court approved by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in August that has sentenced dozens of people, including some 50 men this month, to up to 20 years for paying bribes, embezzlement and damaging the economy. In November, authorities executed two men accused of smuggling foreign currency and manipulating the gold-coin market, the Iranian judiciary’s news service reported.