“Malaysia is now being sanctioned because we can’t trade with a very big trading country of ours, Iran. Other countries also receive the same treatment,” he said..
Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the 35th the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and related summits, Mahathir Mohammad advised sanctions were not mentioned during the summit.
“So under what law? They talk so much about rule of law; they talk so much about rule-based trade but the very people that talk about this or invented this idea are the same people not adhering to their own principles,” he said.
“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.
“The sanctions don’t apply to one country alone,” he said, adding that Malaysia is now being sanctioned.
A Reuters report last week denoted that banks in Malaysia were closing the accounts of Iranian individuals and companies, in what is believed to be a measure linked to sanctions imposed by Washington against Tehran.
Since quitting the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA last year, 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 missile program and regional influence.
On Wednesday, the Malaysian prime minister told reporters the country was being forced to “make it difficult” for Iranians to live normal lives in the country.
“Our ties are very good with Tehran, but we face some very strong pressures from certain quarters, which you may guess,” Mahathir Mohamad said, without naming where the pressure was coming from.
“We are forced to do this because if we don’t, they will close our banks abroad. It’s a kind of bullying by very powerful people.”
In reaction to reports, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi expressed hope that the “friendly country of Malaysia” will adopt measures based on goodwill as well as its clear stance against unilateral sanctions to find solutions to this problem.
Washington imposed sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program late last year, but Malaysia has maintained good diplomatic ties with Tehran.