Presence in SCO enhancing Iran's Look to East Policy

Tehran, Sep 16, IRNA - As Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe prepares to host the 2021 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, participation of Iran's newly-elected President Ebrahim Raisi in the event shows the Iranian authorities' determination to pursue their Look to the East Policy.

President Raisi has been invited by Tajikistan to take part in the 21 summit of the SCO slated for September 16-17. This is the first foreign trip of President Raisi since he took power on August 3.

Raisi, heading a high-ranking political and economic delegation, is going to hold bilateral talks with heads of states and heads of delegations on the sidelines of the 2021 Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Dushanbe. He will meet his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon as well.

The development of collaborations between the Islamic Republic and the other members of the SCO is of great importance for Tehran; thus, President Raisi underlined the need for expansion of cooperation with the organization, when he was conducting phone calls with his Russian and Chinese counterparts recently.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has been an observer member of the organization since 2005. Russia and Tajikistan promote Iran to become a permanent member.

Iran's permanent membership will provide the country with a better opportunity to cooperate with other member states, especially in political, security, economic, business, banking, energy and cultural fields, and it will enhance the country's Look East Policy in international relations.

The change of membership will indicate Iranians' pragmatic strategy when it comes to Tehran's foreign policy in dealing with the East. The member-states of the organization are producing and consuming around one fourth of energy production in the world; so, they have the ability to disrupt US-dominated unipolarity and create balance of power, which will add up to Iran's political weight in the globe.

Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), told Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, that political obstacles in the way of Iran's permanent membership in the organization has been removed; so, it will be finalized following technical preparations.

China expressed its support for Iran's official membership in the SCO, stressing that the development is in line with the long-term interests of the organization.

Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan, stated that his country will back Iran's permanent membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization consists of eight permanent members, including China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, and Pakistan. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia have observer membership in the organization. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Turkey have been dialogue partners since 2008.

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