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Making Way for Iran to Join Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Saturday 12 September 2015
Making Way for Iran to Join Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Alwaght- A recent visit made by Kyrgyz President to Tehran has been significant from two main aspects: firstly, bilateral relations between Iran and Kyrgyzstan, secondly, the perspective of international relations and regional activities conducted for Iran's membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Iran was among the first countries that recognized the independence of Kyrgyzstan, and also it was one of the first countries which opened an embassy in Kyrgyz Republic. Over the last few years, the relations between Iran and Kyrgyzstan have experienced some ups and downs; however, they were not politically motivated and were primarily triggered by regional developments and the governments in power in two countries. Nevertheless, with the emergence of some West oriented government in Kyrgyzstan, the relations between two countries were reduced.

 

At the time being, it appears that in addition to bilateral dimensions of such visits, the regional cooperation between the two countries, particularly with regard to regional pacts and institutions in Eurasia, could be of prime importance at these meetings. Kyrgyzstan as a permanent member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization plays an effective role in the organization, but it should be noted that Russia and China are considered the dominant powers in the organization and the acts of joining or leaving the organization in the first place should be considered and approved by these two countries.

 

Over the last few years, always before the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Iran's permanent membership, its benefits and advantages for the organization was debated for a short time, and soon it was forgotten as the meetings were over. At the same time, as a matter of fact, the mechanism of the Iranian Foreign Ministry did not demonstrate any determination for pursuing the process which might lead to Iran's membership in this organization. Nevertheless, it appears that these trips and bilateral relations with countries and members of the organization can help accelerate the process of Iran's membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

 

In recent years, one of the factors that has impeded or somehow halted Iran's membership in the organization was Iran nuclear issue, the UN sanctions on the country and the talks between Iran and the world powers. Regarding the fact that China and Russia as two superpowers of the organization voted for the US sanctions against Iran, then they could not act contrary to resolutions of the UN Security Council about Iran's membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and that is why for a long time, Iran's membership in the Organization was always limited to short talks rather than practical measures. Nevertheless, in present conditions, and after the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the clear horizon appeared over negotiations and Iran's nuclear program can certainly have a positive impact on Iran's membership in the SCO. 

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