* * *
Iran says it has signed over a dozen basic agreements with Indonesia to promote cooperation in a variety of areas in what could indicate a significant opening in trade relations between the two countries. Iran's Minister of Communications and Information TechnologyMahmoud Vaezi told reporters that the agreements concerned cooperation in areas such as banking, food and agriculture, oil and gas as well as general trade. Vaezi added that this had taken place during the visit to Tehran by Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo. Widodo arrived in Tehran on Tuesday heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation for talks on issues of mutual interest with senior Iranian officials. The Indonesia president met Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani as well as the Leader of the Islamic RevolutionAyatollahSeyyedAli Khamenei. A key topic of discussion during President Widodo’s visit to Tehran was an agreement to purchase more than 500,000 metric tons of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from Iran in 2017. Iran also expressed its commitment to invest in Indonesia by building an oil refinery in East Java and a 5,000-megawatt mobile power plant in an unspecified location, the Jakarta Post reported. Both countries also explored the possibility of teaming up to operate Iran’s Ab-Teymour and Mansouri in the country’s southwestern oil-rich province of Khouzestan. The current annual level of Iran’s exports to Indonesia stands at around $74 million while the imports stand at about $83 million, IRNA reported. Both countries have already announced serious plans to boost the level of their trade to as high as $2 billion, the report added.