By staff and agency

Malaysia says U.S. sanctions against Iran are against law

November 3, 2019 - 20:11

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Sunday that the United States’ sanctions against Iran are unlawful.

“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,” Free Malaysia Today quoted the prime minister as saying in a press conference on the sidelines of the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.

“When you apply sanctions, it is against the law,” he noted.

He said, “The sanctions don’t apply to one country alone,” he said, adding that Malaysia is now being sanctioned.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that banks in Malaysia were closing the accounts of Iranian individuals and companies because of U.S. sanctions.

According to the news agency, some Iranians and one embassy official said that there were “mass closure” of Iranians’ bank accounts in the Southeast Asian country in recent months.

The Malaysia’s prime minister told reporters on Wednesday his nation 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,” 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,” he said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Thursday, “Sadly, a number of Malaysian banks have placed a series of restrictions on opening accounts and offering banking services for Iranians, under the influence of the United States’ economic terrorism.”

“In this regard, our country’s embassy in Malaysia has put the issue on the agenda in constant and intensive arrangements with Malaysia’s government bodies and banking officials, and multiple negotiations have been held with the relevant authorities, and figuring out a solution and resolving the problem is still on the agenda,” he added.

Mousavi also said the banking restrictions have created problems for the presence and activities of Iranians in Malaysia, particularly the participation of Iranian elites and university students in Malaysia’s scientific and academic sphere as well as those involved in the trade and business sector.

“We hope that the friendly state of Malaysia would work out solutions to settle the problem, considering the Malaysian government’s goodwill and clear and recognized stances on the unilateral (U.S.) sanctions, and that the problems that have arisen in Iranians’ bank accesses would be resolved with consultation and on the basis of the legal frameworks available for the issue,” he added.


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