Thursday, April 24, 2008

Iranian Defense Vendors Removed from Malaysian Trade Show

Malaysia on Thursday said Iranian defence firms were ejected from a military trade show for exhibiting “lethal and offensive equipment” in violation of UN Security Council sanctions.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said the Iranian firms had been informed that they could take part provided that did not contravene UN resolutions which includes a ban on arms exports.

UN resolution: “Unfortunately... they displayed equipment that clearly contravenes the UN resolution such as missiles and missile systems,” Najib told reporters.

“We were left in a situation that we did not have any option - since Malaysia is committed to respecting and adhering to the UN resolution - but to terminate their participation,” he said.

According to the New Straits Times, the Iranian pavilion at the Defence Services Asia exhibition was closed on the second day of the four-day trade show which ends Thursday.

The newspaper said US embassy officials had approached the organisers and the Malaysian defence and foreign ministries to voice their concern and threatened to pull out of the show if action was not taken.

The US is one of the largest exhibitors with 26 American companies taking part. A US embassy spokeswoman said it does not comment on diplomatic actions. Najib, who is also defence minister, said: “We received some complaints but we took this action not on the basis of the complaints but because of our position.”

Source: Daily Times and New Straits Times.

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