Prospects for Iran's admission to SCO from viewpoint of Russian experts

September 22, 2021 - 21:48

TEHRAN - With the official accession of Iran to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), according to Russian experts, while a new chapter in the relations between Iran and the countries of the region is on the horizon, a clear prospect of increasing the organization's authority in military and economic, security aspects is expected.

At noon time on September 17 and on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the official acceptance of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the beginning of a new chapter in relations between Iran and countries was marked, IRNA reported on Monday.
Iran, which has been an observer member of the SCO until now, officially began its membership process on Friday (September 17th) at the 21st Summit of the organization held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

The SCO is a regional intergovernmental organization formed for various cooperation, especially security and economic cooperation. The organization was established on June 15, 2001 with the membership of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in Shanghai. Over these years Pakistan, India and Iran have joined the organization

The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) asked a number of Russian experts about the official admission of Iran to the SCO and its importance for Iran and its member states.

“Iran's membership in SCO has positive regional implications”

"Iran is a reliable partner for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and its membership is important and effective in increasing regional security," said Leonid Ivashov, director of the Russian Center for Geopolitical Studies.

Stating that Iran is a powerful country and has a superior position in the region, he added: "Iran plays a good role in regional developments and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization uses the official membership of Iran to strengthen regional security and stability." 

The head of the Center for Geopolitical Studies in Russia noted: "Accepting Iran's membership in this organization will strengthen cooperation with key members, especially Russia."

Ivashov stated that the entry of the great country of Iran into the SCO, which is a nascent regional organization, will increase the role and capability of this group and its level of influence on regional developments. 

“Iran's official membership helps SCO to achieve strategic goals” 

Sergei Lozinin, a professor at the Russian University of International Relations, supported Iran's permanent membership in the SCO and called it very important.

He called Iran's membership in the organization effective and constructive in achieving the strategic goals of this regional pact.

“Relations between Iran and Shanghai members will be consolidated”

Adlan Margoviev, an expert at the International Research Institute at the Russian Foreign Ministry's Magimo University, said: "Iran was an observer member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and actively participated in all its meetings." 

He noted that in terms of relations between Iran and the SCO member states, the situation will improve and better relations will be established.  

"But the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which coordinates its policies in areas such as politics, military and economy and decides in these cases, Iran will actively participate in this process and will have the right to vote," Margoviev said.

“SCO needs Iran” 

Russia's international correspondent, Abbas Juma, also told Radio Sputnik that Iran is a very important player and a powerful country in the southeast of the Eurasian region, which separates it from West Asia.

According to him, Iran is a very important country in the fight against terrorism and in recent years has shown that it has cooperated very effectively with Russia in the fight against terrorism in Syria, which is a very significant issue.

"Iran's membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization showed that the members of this organization considered Iran's full presence in this organization necessary," he added.
"Iran also needs this organization," the Russian correspondent said. "The member states of this organization constitute a very large market and half of the world's population lives in these countries."  

Juma noted that Iran has been striving for its own prosperity and independence for decades, and the United States and Israel have always taken anti-Iranian positions.

"The decision to admit Iran to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is very important," Juma said, stressing that the country can participate in the big projects of the Shanghai pact.

He also referred to Iran's confrontation with the arrogant behavior of the United States, saying: "The United States is definitely upset about Iran's membership in the Shanghai Organization."  

“Iran's membership in SCO will reduce Western pressure”

The head of the Faculty of Global Politics at Moscow State University says that Iran's membership in the SCO will reduce Western pressure on the country and will have a positive impact on the structure of its foreign economic cooperation.

"Iran, Russia and China are under intense pressure from the West led by the United States, but given the economic characteristics, Iran suffers more from sanctions than the other two countries," Andrei Sidorov said.

According to him, Iran's membership in the SCO as a full member will create new opportunities for Tehran to face oppressive and illegal unilateral sanctions.

He said that Iran has a lot of experience in dealing with sanctions, adding that Iran shares this experience through cooperation with the SCO, and there is no doubt that interaction with Russia and China, the other two countries sanctioned by the West, will bring great achievements.

The head of the Faculty of Global Politics at Moscow State University noted that the SCO is gaining more power and that Iran's membership will increase the alliance’s global prestige and that more countries will join the organization in the coming years.

He added that the SCO is becoming a heavyweight against the West and can successfully counter excessiveness and its hegemonic system, especially the United States.

According to the Russian university professor, the SCO is working to counter the unipolar U.S. system, and in the future it will play a key role in establishing a multipolar system with new poles of power, including Russia, Iran, China and India.  

“Official membership of Iran will promote SCO credibility” 
A member of the Council for Interethnic Relations, which operates under the auspices of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said: "I believe that the membership of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will increase the prestige and global position of this organization and will bring many achievements for both sides."

Shabanov noted, "Iran is an important and serious player in the Middle East. Iran has a privileged position in the region, connecting Europe to Asia on the one hand, and the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea and the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus on the other which Russia is also located."

The Russian socio-cultural activist noted that Iran is actively involved in the political equations of the West Asia region, and that joining the SCO will help the country participate in resolving regional issues.

Noting membership in the SCO is very important and beneficial for Iran, he said through the organization Iran can improve its economic, political and military position and cooperate freely with neighboring countries and major world powers.

The member of the Council for Interethnic Relations said that the SCO members are a very large market for the export of goods and Iran can use this important opportunity to develop its export structure.

Shabanov believes that Iran's membership in the organization is also very important and beneficial for the organization because it is a powerful player.  

Shabanov added: "Undoubtedly, Iran's membership in this organization will help increase the country's image and also ensure Iran's security, and after this, Iran is not alone and a great organization supports it."

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