Raisi’s SCO summit attendance a move in modern regionalism: expert

Tehran, IRNA – An expert on strategic issues said that Iran has always followed different patterns to shape regionalism in its foreign policy and President Raisi’s attendance in SCO summit is a movement along modern regionalism context.

Reza Momenzadeh, an expert on geopolitics and strategic issues, said in an interview with IRNA on Thursday that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s trip to Tajikistan to participate in Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit signifies a development in Iran’s foreign policy and we should expect serious changes in Iran’s foreign policy approaches and alignments.

He pointed to Iran’s entry to the SCO as observer in 2005 and its request for permanent membership since 2008, saying that this highlights Iran's serious determination to participate in this regional organization; therefore, Iran's ascent to permanent membership would be an important development in its regionalism policy.

Security and economy are two important aspects of the SCO and Iran has considered both aspects in Raisi’s attendance in the current summit, the expert noted, adding that "we should expect a new framework in Iran’s foreign policy regarding security and economic cooperation after it joins the SCO."

The organization cannot cover all of Iran’s security responsibilities, Momenzadeh said, but it can complement some part of Iran’s regional security policy.

In the economic field, he added, the SCO has various committees and working groups and China has especially tried to highlight the organization’s economic role.

Momenzadeh cautioned, however, that one shouldn’t expect the SCO to give an immediate solution to Iran’s problems arising from US and West’s sanctions, but it can be helpful in the long run.

He said that the new administration in Iran has put on the agenda a balanced foreign policy that looks simultaneously at all geographical and political regions in the framework of multilateralism.

International developments have made the power transfer from the west to the east an absolute anticipation, the expert stressed, noting that Iran, as a result, is seeking to strengthen the Asian identity in its foreign policy by becoming a member of the SCO.

He also underlined that the Western countries would also seek to interact as Iran boosts its ties with such powers as China, Russia and India.

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