Sep 27, 2021, 1:29 AM
Journalist ID: 1316
News Code: 84485361
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Reciprocal benefits for Iran, Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Tehran, IRNA – Iran’s permanent membership at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), just as providing some major opportunities for our country, has a number of special benefits for the SCO.

The acceptance of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a permanent member of the SCO, due to its significance, is still the topic of numerous discussions and analyses.

The continuation of the structure of sanctions has made bold the question: To what extent can Iran be benefitted from the SCO economically and in doing trade? Meanwhile, do the sanctions issue as a hindrance factor play a catalyst’s role in boosting Iran’s commercial and economic interactions with the SCO, especially with its economic powers, namely China and India?

In this respect the prevailing viewpoint is that today China, Russia and even India have realized this strategic fact that they need to adopt independent and appropriate approaches and strategies to secure their own interests both in the regional and in the international scenes.

On the aftermaths of membership in the SCO and the existing viewpoints and analyses in this respect in an interview with university Professor Ali Asghar Zargar, an expert in international affairs, we have surveyed the economic opportunities with which Iran is faced at the SCO.

IRNA – How do you see the aftermaths of Iran’s membership at the SCO, keeping in mind that this organization has at its disposal some 30% of the world’s national gross production (NGP)?

There is no doubt that from the economic point of the view the SCO thanks to the membership of two highly populated countries with dynamic economies, namely India and China, has a special significance.

Iran has had good commercial and economic relations with these two countries and they were both among the buyers of Iran’s oil before Trump’s sanctions were imposed.

Now with Iran’s membership at that organization, Iran can under certain conditions use the capacities of the SCO. The condition for using that capacity is that the Iranian economy in the field of investments and production, will regain its days of blossoming and dynamism, so that the country will have more things to say at the commercial and economic relations field.

That is because if countries such as China and India will become the breathing hubs for Iran, buy the Iranian oil cheap, and sell their goods to Iran, this type of cooperation will not be beneficial for Iran.

The historical experience of Iran’s interactions with China, Russia and India prove that those countries have in their economic ties always focused on gaining maximum benefits and secure their national interests.

Therefore, Iran can only be benefited from the capacities of that organization only if it will organize its own economy, and in the next phase based on its needs for investments and technological assistance, sign bilateral and multilateral contracts with the SCO member countries eventually, cooperate with the SCO based on the win-win economic and commercial basis with that organization.

IRNA – Do you think Iran’s membership at SCO, keeping in mind that China and India are both interested in having more beneficial presence in Iranian economy and investing in Iran, to what extent can Iran’s membership at that organization pave the path for those countries’ such intentions?

The strategic and 25-year comprehensive document between Iran and China, and Iran’s membership at the SCO have completed the Islamic Republic’s eastward look. China in the framework of this document will be inclined towards implementing projects that are agreed by both sides and also independent contracts for investments in Iran.

But it is at this phase that Iran must plan precisely and based on its real needs and priorities quite intelligently aimed at achieving its own economic development, solving its unemployment problem, and taking maximum advantage of the investments project relying on consultations with highly expert technicians familiar with securing Iran’s national interests.

Although India suspended its oil imports from Iran and even its investments in Chabahar Port, but in the framework of the SCO, the probability of India’s economic cooperation and investments in other parts of Chabahar is high.

And since Pakistan, too, is a member of the SCO and the India-Pakistan relations have improved the Iran-India gas pipeline through Pakistan, too, might become possible.

IRNA: One of the issues propagated after Iran’s membership at SCO is that Iran’s presence at the organization will lead to increasing the significance and strategic positive of the SCO both at the regional and at the international scenes. How do you evaluate that claim?

Iran’s membership will improve the SCO both at the regional and at the International scenes in several ways.
Firstly, Iran has access to the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea simultaneously and plays the corridor role both in the east-west and in the north-south directions for the land-locked Central Asian countries. This corridor increases the strategic significance of the SCO.

Secondly, Iran is like a bridge from the SCO, which is the east’s NATO, that Turkey is its members and eastern column. Since one of the objective of the SCO is campaign against terrorism and the trafficking of the narcotic drugs, Iran that is itself a victim of both terrorism and narcotic drugs trafficking, and has a unique geographical position, can assist the SCO achieve its goals, and will therefore improve SCO’s strategic status.

Meanwhile, in order to get maximum economic benefits from cooperation with the SOC, Iran needs to resolve its disputes with the west, and move towards problem resolving with the United States and balancing its political and economic interactions.

The best policy for Iran is balanced political and economic relations with both the east and the west.

2050

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