Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says Malaysia cannot trade with Iran, one of its big trading partners, due to sanctions.
Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, Mahathir noted that sanctions were not mentioned during the summit.
“When you apply sanctions, it is against the law. 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,” he said, stressing that sanctions don’t apply to one country alone.
Mahathir noted that Malaysia is now being sanctioned, Free Malaysia Today reported on Sunday.
Reuters had reported that banks in Malaysia are closing the accounts of Iranian individuals and companies, believed to be linked to sanctions imposed by Washington.
Despite Washington’s sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program imposed late last year, Malaysia has maintained good diplomatic relations with Tehran. Last week, their leaders discussed ways of further strengthening ties.
Without singling out any country, Mahathir criticized those who “talk so much” about the rule of law, rule-based trade and relations, and yet were not adhering to their own principles.
Iran traded 8.42 million tons of non-oil commodities worth $3.94 billion with the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations during the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2019) to register a 6.23% and 12.85% decline in tonnage and value respectively compared to the year before.
Latest data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show Iran’s exports totaled 4.86 million tons worth $2.1 billion during the year to March 20, indicating a 3.66% and 1.4% decline in tonnage and value respectively year-on-year.
Imports stood at 3.55 million tons worth $1.84 billion, down 9.53% and 23.05% in tonnage and value respectively YOY.
As such, Iran recorded $260.81 million in non-oil trade surplus with ASEAN states.