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Iran's Raisi visits Indonesia, announces agreement to ditch dollar

The Iranian government has signed a dozen agreements with Indonesia, pressing ahead with its pushback on sanctions that has also involved strategic deals with China, Russia and India. 
Chairman of the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly Bambang Soesatyo (R) meets Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (L) in Jakarta, on May 23, 2023, during Raisi two-day state visit to the most populous Muslim country.

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi said Tehran and Jakarta have decided to stop using the dollar in their bilateral trade as he visited the southeast Asian Muslim nation on Tuesday, his website reported. 

Standing next to his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo at a televised presser in Jakarta, Raisi declared that the two sides were now set to use the Iranian national currency, the rial, and the Indonesian rupiah to replace the conventional US dollar in their economic relations.  

Under years of onerous US sanctions and international banking restrictions, the Islamic Republic has seen its foreign economic ties increasingly strangled. Tehran's outstanding payments in US dollars from South Korea and Iraq remain frozen. In many other countries, it has had to accept commodities rather than dollars. Finding its foreign currency reserves dwindling and the value of its national currency plummeting to record lows, Iran has been scrambling, recently trying to abolish the dollar in its foreign trade, including with China, Russia and India.

The de-dollarization drive has paid off, the country's finance minister said earlier this month, claiming that the presence of the American currency in Tehran's international trade has dropped to as low as 10%.  

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