According to the Mehr news agency, the website of the Chinese network CGTN published an article by former Kyrgyz Prime Minister Jumart Otterbayev, referring to the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on September 15 (today). He considered the permanent member of this organization as an important event.
The SCO summit is scheduled for September 16-17 (September 25th and 26th) in Tajikistan.
“On August 11, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev met with his Iranian counterpart Admiral Ali Shamkhani to discuss security cooperation between Russia and Iran, Afghanistan, Syria and the situation in the Persian Gulf,” Otterbayev wrote. He also announced that Iran would soon join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization by mutual decision of the member states. On the same day, Shamkhani tweeted: “Fortunately, political obstacles to Iran’s membership in the Shanghai Agreement have been removed and Iran’s membership will be finalized through technical formalities.”
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was established in 2001 with six founding members. The decision to establish the organization began in 1996 with the creation of the “Shanghai Five”, which includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia and Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan was added shortly afterwards.
Today, the SCO has eight member states. In 2017, India and Pakistan also became members of this regional body dedicated to security, economy and humanitarian cooperation, and it is likely that there will be a ninth member soon.
The article goes on to say that the formal start of Iran’s accession to the SCO should be seen as a real step forward, as the country has spent more than 10 years waiting for full membership.
Tehran joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 2005 as an observer member and then applied for full membership in 2008. However, it could not be accepted into the organization until 2015 due to existing international sanctions.
Coinciding with the implementation of the Borjam agreement in 2015 and the lifting of some of these sanctions, it was expected that the ground would be paved for this action, but with Tajikistan blocking, Iran’s application for membership was blocked.
“Despite all this, the parties resolved the issue some time ago, and Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi will personally travel to the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Summit,” Otterbayev wrote.
According to the article, many experts believe that Moscow’s actions have been effective in trying to moderate Tajikistan’s stance on Iran’s entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. At a meeting of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers in Dushanbe in July, Russia made it clear that Iran’s application for membership should have been considered long before that.
At the end, Oterbayev, referring to Iran’s role in regional and world developments, noted that the main task of the SCO is to discuss and take joint action on regional security issues. Iran is a powerful and influential country without which the security problems of the region cannot be completely solved. For example, without Iran, the situation in Afghanistan is unlikely to be resolved.