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Coronavirus: Iran appeals for $5bn IMF loan as deaths pass 4,000

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Iran has urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to an approve a $5bn (£4bn) emergency loan to help fight the coronavirus, as its death toll passed 4,000.

President Hassan Rouhani warned that “there should be no discrimination” in approving requests.

The US reportedly opposes the loan, with officials saying Iran has sufficient funds at its disposal.

Mr Rouhani called the pressure campaign a “historic disgrace”.

President Donald Trump reinstated the US sanctions in 2018 in an attempt to force Iran’s leaders to renegotiate a nuclear deal with world powers, but they have so far refused.

Iran has been the country in the Middle East worst hit by Covid-19 virus, which has infected more than 1.4 million worldwide and claimed 82,000 lives.

On Wednesday, Iran’s health ministry reported the number of people who had tested positive in the country had increased by 1,997 to 67,286, and the death toll had risen by 121 and now stood at 4,003.

Last month, the Central Bank of Iran requested a $5bn loan from the IMF’s Rapid Financing Initiative, an emergency programme set up to help countries faced with sudden shocks such as natural disasters.





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