Bait Al-Amanah Engagement with Iranian Thought Leaders
*Photo Credit: Focus Malaysia
Malaysia and Iran established diplomatic relations in 1970 when Malaysia opened its Embassy in Tehran. In 1981, Iran later opened its Embassy in Malaysia. Since then, bilateral relations between Malaysia and Iran continue to be cordial. Both Malaysia and Iran have cooperated successfully in many areas of common interest at the international stage under the auspices of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the Developing-8 Organization (D-8).
More excitingly, cooperation in scientific, cultural, trade, and economic fields between both nations has been encouraging. Despite experiencing a dip in bilateral trade activities due to border closures as a result of the pandemic, both countries are set to strengthen ties aligned with their respective economic recovery.
With the reopening of international borders in the near future, both countries are set to benefit, building on the increasing number of Iranian tourists to Malaysia and vice-versa over the past two decades.
All in all, Malaysia and Iran are able to create a bridge between the East and West of the Islamic world, founded upon the cultural, political, and economic capacities of both countries, and further bilateral and multilateral cooperation for better development of Muslim nations.
Recently, Dr. Abdul Razak Ahmad, Founding Director of Bait Al-Amanah had several engagement sessions with thought-leaders and academic experts in Tehran, Iran.
Engagement Session with Ambassador R.Zabib, Assistant Minister for Asia-Pacific
First, Dr. Abdul Razak Ahmad had a lively exchange of views in his courtesy call with Ambassador R.Zabib, Assistant Minister for Asia-Pacific on Malaysia-Iran relations and the latest developments in Afghanistan. Dr. Razak highlighted the need for strong participation of parties beyond the regional actors to make Afghanistan peace talks work. This included Malaysia, as a progressive democracy who should play an active role in promoting the international peace effort.
Engagement Session with Dr. R. Maniee, Vice President for Research of the Institute for Research and Planning in Higher Education (IRPHE)
Besides that, the Founding Director of Bait Al-Amanah also had an interesting engagement session with Dr. R. Maniee, the Vice President for Research of the Institute for Research & Planning in Higher Education (IRPHE). This institute is a dynamic, responsive, and leading organization in theorizing, modeling, and designing the advanced system proportional to Iranian society and culture in the field of planning of higher education at the regional level. In this session, Dr. Razak and Dr R. Maniee discussed Malaysia-Iran cooperation in the area of human capital development and higher education research.
Engagement Session with Dr. Seyed Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour, President of the Institute for Political & International Studies (IPIS)
In addition, Dr. Abdul Razak has a very engaging discussion session with Dr. Seyed Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour, President of the Institute for Political & International Studies (IPIS). The Institute has defined its mission within three convergent programs: think-tank and research activities, archives and education. As related to think tank and research activities, the IPIS conducts projects on the issues relating to Iran’s foreign policy, carries out applied research on the foreign policy and international relations, and works in close cooperation with think-tanks and research centers, at home and abroad, through holding regular meetings, roundtables and conferences. In this engagement session, Dr. Abdul Razak and Dr Sajjadpour discussed the importance of Malaysia having middle east specialists in the country, emulating Iran’s move in grooming subject matter specialists on Malaysia and Southeast Asia. This is highly important for a deeper understanding of issues in the middle-east, considering the growing centrality of global political security dynamics in the middle east, over the next few decades
All in all, these engagement sessions have amplified the need for a deeper understanding of issues in the Middle east and more importantly, a need to relook and reenergize the position and cordiality of Malaysia-Iran relations.