International affairs expert
Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi’s state visit to Indonesia signifies the Iranian government’s strategic outlook toward the East. The decision to adopt an “Eastward-looking” approach stems from Iran’s disillusionment with Europe and America’s failure to meet expectations outlined in the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. Following its withdrawal from the JCPOA in 2018, the United States has unleashed a barrage of over 1,700 sanctions on Iran, while Europe has proven inept or unwilling to safeguard Iran’s interests in the wake of the US pullout. Consequently, Iran has redirected its focus toward the East, forging meaningful alliances within the West Asian region and fostering robust collaborations with nations like China and Russia.
Iran’s novel approach has yielded a series of notable achievements, including enduring partnerships with China, the Tehran-Riyadh rapprochement deal, Syria’s reinstatement into the Arab League, and the resolution of the Yemeni conflict.
As part of its broader strategy to dissociate the country’s economy from Western influences, the government has embarked on the ambitious endeavor of establishing an economic market in the Eastern sphere. President Raeisi’s visit to Indonesia holds significant importance in this context, as Indonesia stands as the largest populous Muslim nation. The visit aims to capitalize on Indonesia’s potential as a substantial market for Iranian goods and facilitate the exchange of technological expertise. Iran possesses the capacity to offer its advancements in energy and medical engineering to Indonesia, while also benefiting from the industrial experiences of the Indonesian counterpart.
During the presidential trip, a remarkable milestone was achieved with the signing of 11 documents and memorandums of cooperation across various sectors, cementing the commitment to mutual collaboration between the two nations.
Eastern nations are gradually mobilizing to foster collaborative endeavors in response to mounting Western pressure, spearheaded by the United States. These countries possess considerable potential in various sectors such as industry, technology, trade, and commodity exchanges. Indonesia emerges as a pivotal gateway for Iran into East Asia, joining forces with nations like China, Russia, India, Iraq, and Syria to establish a formidable economic and political consortium. This collective endeavor aims to counterbalance the European Union and the United States, alleviating the ramifications of Western coercion and minimizing their impact.
One crucial facet of this concerted effort in East Asia involves the gradual erosion of the US dollar’s dominance in financial and commercial markets. Although in its nascent stages, the implementation of this idea could pose significant challenges for the American economy unless the United States and Europe revise their policies toward Eastern nations, particularly Iran. Within this context, Raeisi’s visit to Indonesia assumes paramount importance, both in terms of bilateral cooperation and in reflecting the Iranian government’s East