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Reuters denies reporting Malaysia listed as ‘state sponsor of terror’ by US
Published on: Saturday, May 11, 2024
By: FMT
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Reuters denies reporting Malaysia listed as ‘state sponsor of terror’ by US
The fake Reuters report comes as top US Treasury official Brian Nelson paid a visit to Malaysia, during which he said the sanctions imposed on four Malaysian-based companies last year were still in place.
PETALING JAYA: International news agency Reuters has denied publishing a report claiming that the US has made Malaysia the first country in the region to be listed as a state sponsor of terror.

A WhatsApp message circulated yesterday, purportedly from a Reuters report, claimed that this was a result of the sanctions which the US has imposed on four Malaysian-based companies.

In a statement on X today, Reuters said such claims are false.

“Reuters did not report this,” it said.

The fake Reuters report comes as top US Treasury official Brian Nelson paid a visit to Malaysia, during which he said the sanctions imposed last year on the four Malaysia-based companies were still in place.

The US Treasury imposed sanctions on the four companies in December after it was reported that they were providing components for Iran’s weapons programme.

Nelson, the department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said sanctions would see money in US accounts or accounts with a US correspondent blocked or frozen, thereby preventing these companies from accessing the funds.

Nelson was in Malaysia to advance the Treasury’s work in countering terrorist financing and revenue generation for Iran and its proxies.

Reuters previously reported that there had been an uptick in money moving to Iran and its proxies, including Hamas, through the Malaysian financial system.

Apart from claiming that the conversation between the US officials and their Malaysian counterparts during the trip were “bitter and short”, the fake Reuters report said the US officials asked Malaysian officials to “tone down” their support for Hamas and Gaza both publicly and privately.

The report also claimed that the US “will not hesitate to impose harsher economic crippling sanctions” on Malaysia if needed.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, the United States embassy in Kuala Lumpur said the US government has not imposed any new sanctions on Malaysian companies nor listed Malaysia as a state sponsor of terror.

“The hoax circulating on WhatsApp and other social media is fake news,” it said.

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