Russia Praises Iran’s Entrance to Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Russia praised Iran’s entrance into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a group that represents about one-third of the world’s land and exports trillions of dollars annually. Iran was approved on September 17 for membership in the SCO, which includes in its membership China, Russia and India, as well as several Central Asian states. The SCO held its annual summit on September 16-17 in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan.
“In the light of the statements and pledges made by Iran’s previous leadership and the speech by Iran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, to the effect Iran was prepared to open and share with the SCO all of its potential capabilities there are very serious reasons to believe that it will be very useful. The SCO member-countries made the corresponding decision on the basis of thorough analysis of the entire combination of factors. In this sense we see eye to eye with our partners,” Russia’s special presidential envoy for SCO affairs, Bekhtiyer Khakimov, said in an online briefing on Friday.
He also said that Russia is pleased about “the prospects for Iran’s involvement in such activities as struggle against terrorism, drug trafficking, and the work for stability and security in the region and on a wider scale.”
The Central Asian region is seen as a good market for exports of Iranian goods.
It could take up to two years for Iran to complete the process to formally join the organization. Iran has been an “observer member” since 2005. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt also were admitted as “dialogue partners” during the summit.