Private sector welcomes Iran’s full membership in Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Few days after Iran was accepted a full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Iranian private sector activists are sending positive signals welcoming the country’s full membership in the regional organization.

29 September 2021
ID : 33114
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Few days after Iran was accepted a full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Iranian private sector activists are sending positive signals welcoming the country’s full membership in the regional organization.

Chairman of Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce Majid Reza Hariri said last week that the activities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization may have more political and security aspects but there is no doubt that it will also bring economic benefits to Iran.

The more Iran joins international and regional organizations, it will be in the country's interest, Hariri said.

Arash Alavi, a board member of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture (ICCIMA), says Iran has to remove the obstacles which stop Iran from making use of its full membership in SCO.

Alavi believes that if the country fails to build good relations with the world and the International Atomic Energy Agency, it will not be able to benefit from the privileges of membership in international organizations.  

Arash Najafi, the chairman of ICCIMA Energy Commission, says that good negotiations are a precondition for making use of the privileges of Shanghai Treaty.

He argues that the partnership of the private sector can help such negotiations yield more fruit.

Iran’s bid to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization dates to one year after it received observer status in 2005. All along, however, the most important legal obstacle to its accession has been a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions. Nevertheless, Iran’s regional neighbors recognized that the country could be an important element of the so-called “North-South” multimodal transit corridor that will more closely connect eastern and western Eurasia, and which can become a leading symbol of cooperation among all the members of SCO.

Iranian participation in both would, thus, ease, if not wholly overcome, the years of extensive effort by Western countries, led by the United States, to isolate the Islamic Republic using various means of economic, political and security pressure, reads an article published by Washington, D.C.-based think tank Jamestown Foundation.

The article says that Iran now plans to use its permanent membership in the organization to further strengthen relations with the Central Asian and South Asian countries to its northeast.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Iran in 2016 kick-started the process of developing a comprehensive strategic partnership between Tehran and Beijing, and previous political barriers to that process have apparently now been removed.

Notably, this past spring, the two sides signed a 25-year cooperation agreement that pledges Chinese investments of $400–600 billion. Some observers argue that permanent membership in SCO will greatly facilitate this growth of political and economic relations between the two countries as well as between Iran and the other members, easing the bite of Western sanctions against Tehran. The bloc already registered $330 billion in trade among member states back in 2017.

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