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Defying Western Sanctions, Indonesia Signs Preferential Trade Pact With Iran

© Photo : Twitter/ @jokowiRaisi in Jakarta for a historic visit in response to the invitation of President Widodo
Raisi in Jakarta for a historic visit in response to the invitation of President Widodo - Sputnik India, 1920, 23.05.2023
The pact was signed during the historic two-day visit of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to Jakarta, where he held bilateral talks with his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo. Indonesia and Iran have set a goal to expand the bilateral trade volume to $20 billion.
Indonesia and Iran have signed a preferential trade agreement (PTA) with the aim of boosting trade between the two Islamic nations, an official statement said.
Raisi left for Tehran on Tuesday after concluding his visit, the first to Indonesia since he assumed office in 2021.
During a joint press briefing on Tuesday, the Iranian President said that the two nations have also agreed to use national currencies in trade settlements. Under the Indonesian Presidency, the ten-state Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) announced this month they would “encourage” the use of national currencies for trade settlements.
An Indonesian trade ministry official quoted in local media said that the Iran could serve as a “gateway” for Indonesian products in the Middle-east. Jakarta also signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed with the United Arab Emirates in 2021.
A boat carrying ASEAN leaders and their spouses sails for a sunset view event on the sidelines of the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Labuan Bajo on May 10, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 10.05.2023
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Overall, eleven pacts were signed between the two countries, including those relating to abolition of visas, cultural exchanges, supervisory cooperation in the production of pharmaceuticals, science and technology.
Significantly, the two countries have also signed a pact to advance cooperation in the field of oil and natural gas.
Bilateral trade between Indonesia and Iran slumped significantly after the US exited the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the UK, US and EU) and Tehran.
Subsequently, the western powers re-imposed economic sanctions against Tehran.
Iran and the P5+1 have been negotiating the reinstatement of the JCPOA since Joe Biden took over as the US President in 2020.

'Sanctions & Threats' Haven’t Stopped Iran, Raisi Says

Raisi said that “sanctions and threats have not been able to stop Iran in any way” as it continues to develop ties with “friendly countries”.

"Developing relations with Indonesia, as one of the important and effective countries in Asia and the world, which is a member of important regional and international organisations, is very important for Iran", the Iranian leader stated.

He said that both the countries have “common views” on important global issues, including the need to form an inclusive government in Afghanistan as well as restoring rights of women and minorities.
Raisi also noted that both the countries were committed to support the Palestinian cause.
Ebrahim Raisi gives a news conference after voting in the presidential election, at a polling station in the capital Tehran, on June 18, 2021. - Raisi on June 19 declared the winner of a presidential election, a widely anticipated result after many political heavyweights were barred from running. - Sputnik India, 1920, 03.05.2023
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