Malaysian PM Mahathir calls for unity among Muslims as US-Iran tension escalates

The Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad asked the Muslim countries to unite to counter the external threat that is imminent after the death of commander Qasem Soleimani

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad asked the Muslim countries to unite to counter the rising 'external threat' following the killing of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani. He described the action by the US as immoral and asked the Muslim majority nations to come together against the threat. The world's oldest prime minister said the US attack breached international laws.

"The time is right for Muslim countries to come together," Mahathir told reporters. The death of Soleimani has created a ripple effect where most of the middle eastern countries fear a border conflict. Several gathered outside the Iranian embassy in Malaysia shouting 'down, down USA'. Mahathir has maintained a cordial relationship with Iran despite the sanctions on the country.

Former Malaysia PM Mahathir questioned by police for the second time in June
Malaysia's prime minister Mahathir Mohamad Reuters

Malaysia's active role in the Middle East

Malaysia has played an active role when it comes to managing issues in the middle east, a reason behind the Muslim majority country maintaining the relationship with Iran. As a part of its vision to broaden themselves in the middle eastern region with their foreign policy they have continued to support Iran during various occasions. Mahathir has been quite outspoken with the sanctions imposed by the US on Iran.

During the summit for Muslim leaders in Kuala Lumpur, Mahathir had hosted the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. They had delved into the subjects of business, trade and keeping up with non-Muslim countries. Malaysia has been under scrutiny over their comments about the citizenship laws coming up in India and the criticism of the Saudi Arabia-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Mahathir on these issues had said that he will speak out when he finds the issue in hand is unjust and needs attention. The outspoken behaviour has since then soured their relation with India and Saudi Arabia. The comment about unifying the Muslim countries came just a few days after Oman, one of the diplomatic nations of the middle east requested the US and Iran to deescalate the situation.