EghtesadOnline: 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, Financial Tribune reported.
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.
Malaysia was Iran’s third export destination and the second exporter of goods to Iran among the nations under review.
The country was Iran’s 19th export destination as well as the 19th exporter to Iran in the world, as Iran exported 604,308 tons worth $246.93 million to Malaysia during the 12-month period. Iran exported gas condensates, non-alloy iron/steel ingots, chemicals and bitumen to Malaysia.
This is while Malaysia exported 364,052 tons worth $395.51 million to Iran during the year, down by 16.34% and 19.27% in tonnage and value respectively YOY. Iran mainly imported palm oil, natural rubber and machinery from Malaysia
The Association of South-East Asian Nations is a regional organization comprising 10 countries, namely Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei and Laos, which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational and socio-cultural integration among its members and other countries in Asia. It also regularly engages other countries in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
A major partner of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, ASEAN maintains a global network of alliances and dialogue partners, and is considered by many as a global powerhouse, the central union for cooperation in Asia-Pacific, and a prominent and influential organization. It is involved in numerous international affairs, and hosts diplomatic missions throughout the world.