Deputy FM: Iran acts as mediator between ECO, SCO

June 19, 2006 - 0:0
TEHRAN (IRNA) -- Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and the Pacific Affairs Mehdi Safari here Sunday said that given its geopolitical and geo-economic position, Iran acts as a mediator between the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Briefing the Islamic Republic News Network (IRNN), in a exclusive interview, on Iran's impact in regional stability, security, peace and economic development, he said that Iran's permanent membership in the SCO will complete the role of the Silk Road as a West-East connection route.

"Besides, as a geopolitical and geo-economic mediator, Iran has a highly favorable position in the fields of energy and transport," added the deputy minister.

Turning to the unanimous accord reached among the heads of state attending the sixth SCO summit on the issue of peace and stability, he said that following the connection of the old and new silk roads last week, in addition to using the old route to China via Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the organization's member states can transfer gas, oil and other goods to the free waterways via Iran. Stressing that China also considers Iran as the only reliable country which can supply energy, he said, "Iran has managed to bolster transit of goods from the Central Asian states to the countries bordering the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea and vice versa, which can have a decisive impact on the region's security, economy, stability and peace."

Safari pointed to the common stance of Russia and China, as members of the United Nations Security Council, on Iran's peaceful nuclear activities and said that the Russian President Vladimir Putin defended Iran's nuclear program for peaceful purposes and considered it the right of every country. He referred to the history of the SCO and its first meeting held in China in 1996 and said that the campaign against terrorism, drugs, organized crimes and security issues were among the first goals of the organization and said, "Meanwhile, given the SCO growing trend, economic, cultural and inter-ministerial cooperation has also been recently added to its agenda."