The Nuclear Security Summit which concluded two days ago was a success, not only in exploring new doors to Malaysia-US ties but in dragging some countries which had earlier opposed sanctions on Iran to dance to the American tune. We are of no exception.
When Petronas halted its gasoline delivery to Iran last month (here), we joined the likes of most Western and anti-Islamic nations in their propaganda against what is described as 'Iran's nuclear weapon program'. Teheran has reiterated that its uranium enrichment program is strictly to generate electricity for its industries. Even the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had in December confirmed that Iran had no intention whatsoever to develop the program into weapon of mass destruction (WMD).
In fact, Iran has been opposing WMD, the theory created by former British premier Tony Blair that gave permission to the US-led assault which devastated Iraq in 2003. And now, the US has come out with its own theory that Iran might shut the international oil passage in Shatt el-Arab and the Persian Gulf once its nuclear arsenals are ready and in place (here).
While countries like Turkey, India, Brazil and Venezuela are either opposing the sanctions or pressing for a more effective diplomatic solution, Malaysia chose to align itself to the US-style of confronting Teheran, knowing well enough that Iran has been under international sanctions for so many years that any additional measures would not harm its economy.
Latest investment figures show that foreign investments in Iranian oil-related business soar from USD8 billion in 2008 to USD12.7 billion last year. Ironically, most of the companies were from the US and other Western economies.
Malaysia's move might also jeopardise few contracts already awarded by the Iranian authorities to Malaysian companies. Among which is the USD2 billion sealed by a Bumiputera company for the Iran Metro Central project, which is similar to KL Sentral.
Our bilateral trade with Iran is also improving, and so are in politics and diplomatic. As co-members of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), Malaysia and Iran share some common grounds toward international issue.
I think it is time to review our stand on issues like this before making abrupt decision just to please others. Malaysia has many friends throughout the globe, most of which look high upon us for our effective roles in many international forums.
We also need to accept the fact that the United Nations 'belong' to the Americans as the host nation and for being the largest single donor to the world body. And of course, Washington would love to have the whole world dancing to its tune!