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Nikki Haley says IMF trying to undercut US sanctions on Iran with massive loan

Nikki Haley (Twitter)
June 30, 2020

Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley warned that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a subsidiary organization of the U.N., is attempting to undermine U.S. sanctions on Iran by providing the country with a “multibillion-dollar loan.”

In a Monday opinion article for The Washington Examiner, Haley warned that the IMF’s loan plans “would prop up the world’s largest sponsor of terror and provide it with billions of dollars that it would use to oppress its people and threaten the U.S. and our allies across the Middle East.”

Haley began her article by emphasizing the focus of her U.N. tenure by challenging the organization to hold “irresponsible regimes” such as Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela and others to account.

“The coronavirus pandemic has laid bare that many international bodies are still willing to do the bidding of some of the world’s most dangerous nations — including Iran,” Haley wrote in her Monday article. “This is unacceptable, and it demands a swift and strong response from the United States.”

Haley served as the U.N. Ambassador through to the end of 2018. Since leaving her position, Haley has formed her own policy group, “Stand For America” whose platform focuses on the spread of Iranian-sponsored terrorism, as well as issues with China and Russia.

Haley also called on Trump to block the IMF loan to Iran. The U.N. financial body has said the loan is to help the country recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but Haley said “the regime is already capable of providing for its citizens.”

“Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei could easily tap into the funds under his control worth more than $200 billion, as well as Iran’s sovereign-wealth fund,” Haley wrote. “Similarly, if the regime ended its support for Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and the barbaric Assad regime in Syria, billions more would be freed up.”

“It says everything we need to know that the regime refuses to take these steps. In fact, Tehran has a long and terrible history of prioritizing funding for its terrorist proxies over providing for the Iranian people,” she continued.

Haley linked to various reports to support her assessment that Iran has prioritized funding terrorism over supporting its citizens. In one instance, she linked to a 2018 Radio Free Europe report documenting the Iranian parliament’s decision to cut $2.5 billion in contributions to its National Development Fund, which was set up to convert revenue from the country’s oil sales into domestic economic development plans. Those funds were instead moved to Iranian military funds.

Haley also noted Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had doubled funding for Iran’s paramilitary Basij forces, which have been implicated in firing live ammunition at Iranian protesters in November of 2019. Around 300 Iranians were killed by Iranian security forces during those protests, according to Amnesty International.

“Given this history, any IMF loan would be the definition of naive. It would require willful ignorance of Iran’s past and current actions, to say nothing of the murderous character of the regime’s rulers. It would reward not just bad behavior, but truly evil acts,” Haley wrote. “Ultimately, it would only further enable the Ayatollah’s oppression at home and aggression abroad.”

As she concluded her article, Haley said “The U.S. should publicly warn the IMF that we will not accept its making any loan to Iran. And as the IMF’s largest stakeholder, we should ensure that no loan gets made.”

“We have the facts on our side. Just as the billions in cash the Obama administration delivered to the Iranian regime in 2016 was used to finance wars and terrorism, IMF funds are sure to be used in the same manner. The answer to Iran’s very real problems isn’t to lift sanctions and give it a bailout — it is to demand that Iran change its monstrous behavior.”

Haley’s article comes on the heals of U.S. State Department report released last week, identifying Iran as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.