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Friday, April 23, 2010

Mahathir warns against supporting US moves on Iran


KUALA LUMPUR, April 21: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he felt relieved to learn about prime minister Najib Razak's denial over reports that Malaysia had stopped selling gasoline to Iran and issued a warning that Malaysia stands to lose if it supports Washington's campaign against Iran.

"Iran is not Malaysia's enemy and Iran has never interfered our internal policies and activities.
"There is no reason why we should question their internal policies.
"Alhamdulillah, I am happy to read Najib's statement that the report was untrue," he wrote in his blog today.
A chorus of condemnations greeted Najib over reports quoting him as confirming that national oil company Petronas had suspended gasoline sales to Iran. The move followed his meeting with US president Barack Obama, in which Najib agreed that Iran should be sent "a strong signal", and lent Malaysia's support to US campaign to isolate the Islamic republic.
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Rakyat leaders have among others urged the government to come clean over its stance on Iran's nuclear programme. The US says Iran's nuclear project is aimed at producing weapons and wants to impose economic sanctions on Tehran. Its efforts have been met with strong opposition from China, Russia, Latin-American countries and Turkey.
'It would be crazy of Iran to start nuclear war'
Mahathir said it was not Malaysia's problem "weather it is true or not that Iran is indeed building nuclear weapons as alleged by the United States."
"That's a problem for the US, the largest military power in the world which has more than 10,000 nuclear warheads," said Mahathir, adding that the US feared Iran could possess "a couple of nuclear weapons" in the future but did not mind over 200 nuclear warheads that belonged to Israel.
He asked whether the US really feared Iran's nuclear weapons if it were true it had them.
"Iran must be crazy to launch a nuclear war with two nuclear weapons when it would only provoke the US, Israel and other big powers to rain their bombs and nuclear missiles on Iran," he remarked.
Mahathir, a vocal critic of US policies on the Muslim world, reminded that Malaysia should not support Washington's campaign against Iran as it "would only harm our interest".
Drawing attention to the large volume of trade between the two countries, Mahathir said any support to the US campaign would not only jeopardise the trade with Iran, the loss of which "the US would not compensate us", it would also damage Malaysia's reputation especially in the Muslim world.


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