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EghtesadOnline: Despite being in two different geographical locations, Iran and Indonesia have a lot in common to enhance their engagements in many spheres, say Indonesian academics.

Three Indonesian academics took part in an IRNA round-table discussion on the eve of Indonesian President's visit to Iran to elaborate on great potentials the two Muslim nations have to promote ties even more. 

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, heading a high-ranking delegation, arrived in Tehran Tuesday evening, IRNA reported.

'Ties between Iran and Indonesia go back to centuries ago to the time of Srivijaya Empire, when the kings of Srivijaya used to call Iran as 'Persia',' said Iswachyu Dhaniarti Chancellor of Narotama University. 

'Iran was among the first countries that recognized Indonesia's independence in 1945,' Dhaniarti said.

The university head also said that there are many cultural and religious commonalities as well as big opportunities for Tehran and Jakarta to promote ties.

Iran and Indonesia could together counter threats like terrorism faced by the Islamic World and put more pressure on international bodies like the United Nations to take practical steps to fight terrorism.

Also present at the round-table meeting was Andi Ilham Makhmud, Executive Director of the Consortium of Eastern Indonesia State Universities.

Ilham hailed Indonesia as the most populous Islamic nation in the world and expressed hope for Iran and Indonesia as two Muslim countries to further their academic and educational ties in the future.

From a technological perspective, Iran ranks among the advanced countries and by relying on the knowledge and expertise possessed by its scientists the country is on the right track to further its development and to compete with the Western technological power, Ilham said.

'Now the time is ripe for Indonesia to deepen its ties with Iran and benefit from Iran's precious experience,' Ilham said.

Rinda Amalia, another participant, tried to focus on economic policies of President Joko Widodo's government and the opportunities Iran and Indonesia have to promote economic ties.

'Regarding the economic diplomacy followed by President Widodo's government, I believe, there are an array of opportunities for Tehran and Jakarta to boost their bilateral ties,' Amalia, a professor at the University of Narotama, said.

'If the Indonesian President urges Iran to use Islamic banking to develop its small business sector, with regard to high potentials Iran has in this field, there are going to be further chances for developing bilateral ties as well as a chance for President Widodo government's economic goals to be realized,' Amalia said.

Iran-Indonesia cooperation