Israel wants Iran’s attack ‘to deflect attention’ from Palestinians’ plight, Malaysia says

In a statement, released on Sunday, Mohamad said Malaysia “echoes the call by the United Nations secretary general for an immediate cessation and end of these hostilities”.

“Any form of attack, offensive or defensive, will have consequences that, if it spirals out of control, will ultimately lead to the deaths of many more innocent[s],” he said.

“The government of Malaysia urges the parties concerned to de-escalate and create the necessary environment to end this conflict immediately … The main objective is to find peace and a permanent solution to the plight of the Palestinian people and not widen the conflict”

Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamad Hasan pictured at a meeting last month. Photo: Xinhua
Following Iran’s attack on Israel, countries in the region resorted to closing their airspace, while carriers including Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Scoot, Air India, Qantas and Lufthansa diverted their flights temporarily for fear of the developments and escalated tensions.

The Malaysian foreign minister said that once the attacks had ended, Iran through its permanent mission at the UN announced that it considered its actions against Israel justifiable and “can be deemed concluded”.

“However, Iran asserts that should the Israeli regime or its allies were to ‘make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe’, thus creating a never-ending cycle of violence,” he said.

“Any further form of provocation or retaliation could ignite a devastating region-wide conflict that will not serve the region or the Palestinian cause.”

I would like to advise Malaysians to avoid going to high-risk places, be it Iran or any nearby countries

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Fadillah Yusof
Malaysia foreign minister has issued a travel advisory to warn Malaysians currently in Iran, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq to prepare for potential disruptions.

“Malaysians in the region should be prepared for potential disruptions to flight schedules and are advised to make necessary adjustments to their travel plans,” it said.

“In case of an emergency or if one requires assistance while abroad, kindly contact the nearest Malaysian embassy or consulate.”

In Kuching, Deputy Prime Minister Fadillah Yusof advised Malaysians against travelling to the region. He said the foreign ministry needed to monitor the safety of Malaysians in high-risk countries, including monitoring their whereabouts. “I would like to advise Malaysians to avoid going to high-risk places, be it Iran or any nearby countries,” he told reporters on Sunday.

A daily newspaper featuring an illustrated image of Iranian surface-to-surface missiles on its front page is seen in Palestine Square, downtown Tehran, on Sunday. Photo: Zuma Press Wire/dpa

Meanwhile, business continues between Malaysian businessmen and their Iranian counterparts.

“Iran and Iranians are survivors of many US sanctions as well as having gone through the Islamic Revolution back in 1979,” said Osman Ahmad, who is based in Kuala Lumpur.

“I have been doing business importing agricultural goods such as dates and pistachios for two decades now. Even when things were tough, my business was not affected, as they always found a way to get my goods to me.”

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Another businessman who also imports dates from the Middle East and wanted to be known as Malik said he had been doing business with the countries in the region for 30 years.

“Even back in the 1980s when there was an all-out war between Iran and Iraq and the US intervened, my business was not affected,” said Malik, who is based in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan.

“Malaysia has much trade with Iran, which dates back to decades, and this is why even when the going gets tough, our Iranian counterparts make it a point to ensure business goes on.”

Iran’s attack comes six months into Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip, with Israel blaming Iran for aiding Palestinian militant group Hamas.
This article was first published by The Star


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