Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says his country cannot carry out trade with Iran, one of its big trading partners, as a result of Washington’s unilateral sanctions against Tehran, noting that US bans on Iran contravene the United Nations’ provisions.
Mahathir made the remarks while speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Thailand on Sunday.
“There is no provision in the United Nations that a country, which is dissatisfied with another country, can impose sanctions on that country and other countries trading with that nation,” the Malaysian prime minister said, while criticizing the inhibitory impact of US unilateral sanctions against Iran on Kuala Lumpur’s trade with Tehran.
He also dismissed applying sanctions against countries as an act “against the law.”
“The sanctions don’t apply to one country alone,” he said, adding that Malaysia is now being sanctioned.
The Malaysian premier further criticized those who “talk so much” about the rule of law, rule-based trade and relations, but fail to adhere to their own principles without singling out any country.
Mahathir’s remarks came amid reports denoting that banks in Malaysia are closing the accounts of Iranian individuals and companies, in what is believed to be a measure linked to sanctions imposed by Washington against Tehran after the former left the landmark Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Since quitting the JCPOA, US President Donald Trump has been running what he refers to as a “maximum pressure” campaign, which seeks to pressure Iran into negotiating a new deal that addresses its ballistic missile program and regional influence.
The spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that the country’s embassy in Malaysia is doing its best to solve problems resulting from banking restrictions considered for Iranian nationals by some financial institutions in Malaysia.
“Unfortunately, under the influence of the United States’ economic terrorism, some Malaysian banks have considered restrictions for opening accounts and providing services to Iranian nationals.”
Malaysia has maintained good diplomatic relations with Iran despite sanctions Washington imposed against Tehran. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made an official visit to Kuala Lumpur in August on the last leg of his three-nation Asian tour,