Iran becomes full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization

September 17, 2021 - 14:10

TEHRAN – Iran was officially admitted as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Friday.

The decision to admit Iran as a full member was declared in the 21th summit of the SCO leaders in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

So far Iran was an observer member of the organization.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who addressed the summit virtually,   confirmed that from today Iran will become a permanent member of the SCO.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted Iran’s full membership.

Addressing the SCO summit on Friday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said, "Strengthening bilateral cooperation, especially in the field of economy is an important factor in improving the strategic role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in global economy."

Raisi called the SCO summit "one of the few" opportunities for dialogue to ensure real peace and cooperation at the regional level.

In another part of his speech, Raisi noted that his government’s foreign policy orientation will focus on "economic multilateralism" and strengthening "neighborhood policy" in its broadest sense, and strengthening its presence in regional organizations.

He also mentioned Iran’s vast potential in terms of geopolitics, population, energy, transportation, human resources, and most importantly spirituality, culture and civilization.

The president also underscored that the world has entered a new era.

"Hegemony and unilateralism are declining. The international system is changing towards the polarization and redistribution of power in favor of independent states," he said.

Raisi called Iran as the connecting link between South and North Eurasia through the North-South Corridor, connecting Central Asia and Russia to India.

The president also noted that Iran’s foreign policy has always been based on active participation in international organizations, multilateralism and opposition to unilateralism based on justice, cooperation, mutual respect and the need to play a constructive role in facing international and regional challenges.

Raisi also said, "The responsibility for the situation in Afghanistan lies entirely with the United States and its allies during this period."

In another part of his speech, he said that the countries of the region must create the conditions for the people of Afghanistan to overcome their problems and draw a path to a secure future.

"Accordingly, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to devote all its efforts to the establishment of an inclusive, comprehensive and independent government in Afghanistan, and rush to their aid like all these difficult years that we have been with our Afghan brothers and sisters," he added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the president stated that ensuring the rights of the Iranian people for peaceful uses of nuclear energy is "a guarantee of the common interests of developing countries."

"Nothing can stop Iranians’ peaceful nuclear activities, which are carried out within the framework of international regulations," he highlighted.

Raisi went on to say that diplomacy is as one of the means to secure the national interests of countries, but "diplomacy is effective when all parties adhere to it in practice.”

He said, “Threats and pressure weaken diplomacy and tie its hands."

Raisi said the Islamic Republic considers the lifting of sanctions as the "inalienable right of the Iranian people" and does not consider any moves that violate the rights of the Iranian people.

In conclusion, Raisi noted that the SCO states, by relying on their deep-rooted history of civilization, "can establish existing methods for achieving and promoting peace and security based on diplomacy and comprehensive interaction based on justice and spirituality."

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