Press Releases

            Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today sent a letter to President Trump calling on him to support Iran’s request for $5 billion in humanitarian aid from the International Monetary Fund to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

            “I am increasingly concerned that Iran is now contributing to the potential for even greater spread of this disease within the region as immigrants flee for their home countries, including Afghanistan,” wrote Senator Feinstein.

            “I therefore urge you to support Iran’s request for $5 billion in emergency funds from the IMF based on an exception for humanitarian aid. To assuage concerns that Iran could divert the aid for other purposes, we should make our support contingent upon IMF oversight on how Iran spends the funds. It is in our national interest, and in the interest of international security, to help Iran contain this disease.”

            Full text of the letter is available here and below.

April 9, 2020

 

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

            I am disappointed to see reports that your administration intends to block Iran from receiving $5 billion in humanitarian aid from the IMF to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Providing these funds to Iran would help it respond more effectively to the disease and mitigate the risk of further destabilization in the region.

            As you know, Iran has been unable to contain the spread of the disease within its borders, particularly as its economy has contracted under sanctions and the embargo on its oil exports. As of today, Iran had about 65,000 positive cases of COVID-19 and had lost 4,000 people to the disease, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

            I am increasingly concerned that Iran is now contributing to the potential for even greater spread of this disease within the region as immigrants flee for their home countries, including Afghanistan. This portends additional challenges for U.S. and coalition forces there who work alongside their Afghan counterparts.

            I therefore urge you to support Iran’s request for $5 billion in emergency funds from the IMF based on an exception for humanitarian aid. To assuage concerns that Iran could divert the aid for other purposes, we should make our support contingent upon IMF oversight on how Iran spends the funds. It is in our national interest, and in the interest of international security, to help Iran contain this disease. I appreciate your attention to this request. 

Sincerely, 

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

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