Iran Calls For End To U.S. Sanctions, Asks For Billions In IMF Loans To Address Coronavirus Outbreak

AP: Iran asks for billions in loans as virus death toll climbs
“Iran said Thursday it asked the International Monetary Fund for a $5 billion loan to fight the coronavirus, the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that it has sought such assistance, in a staggering admission of how fragile its economy has become amid the epidemic and punishing U.S. sanctions…” (Karimi/Batrawy, 3/12).

AP: Iran accuses U.S. of ‘economic terrorism,’ urges sanctions end
“Iran’s foreign minister demanded Thursday that the United States immediately halt what he called a ‘campaign of economic terrorism’ and lift sanctions, saying they have made it increasingly difficult for the country to export oil and virtually impossible to import medicine and medical equipment, including to identify and treat coronavirus patients…” (Lederer, 3/12).

Washington Post: Coronavirus burial pits so vast they’re visible from space
“…At the Behesht-e Masoumeh complex in Qom, about 80 miles south of Tehran, the excavation of a new section of the graveyard began as early as Feb. 21, satellite images show, and then rapidly expanded as the virus spread. By the end of the month, two large trenches — their lengths totaling 100 yards — were visible at the site from space. According to expert analysis, video testimony, and official statements, the graves were dug to accommodate the rising number of [coronavirus] victims in Qom…” (Cunningham/Bennett, 3/12).

Additional coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak in Iran is available from Fox News, The Guardian, New York Times, and Vox.