No US evidence on Iranian oil movement through Malaysian service providers, says Anwar

PETALING JAYA: The United States has not provided any evidence on a recent allegation claiming certain service providers in Malaysia are enabling Iran to move its oil, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“There has been an allegation but they (the United States) haven’t given any evidence to suggest that.

“They were suspecting some companies involved in ship-to-ship transhipment in international waters, and I said you (should) give evidence of that.

“If (it is happening), then we will have to put that in check because as far as we are concerned, we accept the decision of the United Nations, but of course, we do not agree with the unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States.

“Our position is that sanctions can only be decided by the United Nations,” he said during an interview on “Talk to Al Jazeera” on Sunday (May 19).

A senior US Treasury official said last week that the United States saw Iran's capacity to move its oil as being reliant on service providers in Malaysia.

ALSO READ: Anwar says no evidence of ship-to-ship transfer of Iranian oil off Malaysia

The official also said the United States was trying to prevent Malaysia from becoming a jurisdiction where the Palestinian freedom fighting group Hamas could both fundraise and move money.

When asked by host Sami Zeidan if the United States has made any request from Malaysia regarding the allegation, Anwar said a recent engagement session with the US Treasury was concluded in a civil manner.

“Contrary to what was highlighted in the media, during the session we had with the US Treasury seems to be more subdued, orderly and we gave a clear undertaking that we do not transgress international rules and if there’s evidence, we will certainly cooperate, no question about it.

“If they give evidence, of course, we will stop that because we want to be part of the international community that accepts the ground rules.”

When asked if he would work with any requests for US unilateral sanctions, Anwar said it would be difficult as many countries do not accept that.

On Malaysia’s relationship with China, Anwar said the United States had not openly requested that Putrajaya downgrade its relationship with Beijing.

Given that China is an important neighbour, Anwar said it is the duty of Asian and Asean countries to observe the principle of neutrality.

“We focus on what’s best for our economic development (by) increasing trade and enhancing investments.

“I know there have been talks (for Malaysia to downgrade relations with China) but we are not going to respond to that because cumulatively, the United States is still the largest investor in Malaysia and there are still new investments coming in.

“There's no bias in favour or against any country.

“(Among Asean countries), we have civil, orderly discussions and negotiations and I think this will continue because Asean is a very strong cohesive force,” Anwar added.

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