Iran, Malaysia, Turkey and Qatar are considering trading among themselves in gold and through a barter system as a hedge against any future economic sanctions.
That was announced by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Saturday (December 21), at the end of an Islamic summit in Kuala Lumpur.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER MAHATHIR MOHAMAD SAYING: "We are seriously looking into this and we hope that we will be able to find a mechanism to put it into effect.
Our focus is mainly on the economy, science and technology as well as the defense industry.
But the most important aspect of all the focus is the need to be able to produce and create new indigenous technologies." U.S.-allied Arab states Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar about two-and-a-half years ago over allegations it backs terrorism, a charge Doha denies.
Iran, meanwhile, has been hit badly after the United States reimposed sanctions on it last year.
Mohamad said it was important for the Muslim world to be self-reliant in order to face future threats.
The summit, snubbed by Saudi Arabia, was criticized for undermining the Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which represents 57 Muslim-majority nations.
Malaysia said all the OIC members had been invited to the Kuala Lumpur summit but only about 20 showed up.