By Saeed Azimi

Iran officially joins SCO

September 17, 2022 - 21:43

TEHRAN— The 22nd Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit ended on Friday with a positive note. Iran officially joined the SCO, and all the participants signed the Samarkand Declaration in the end.

Iran's full membership in the SCO was announced by the President of Uzbekistan, which was applauded by the participants. China, Russia, India, Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan attended the 22nd SCO summit.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi spoke at the second day of the summit on Friday, stressing that maximum interaction and relation with the countries of the region, including the SCO states. He also said effective presence in regional and international orders are the focus of Iran’s foreign policy.

Uzbekistan, which chaired the SCO for one year, will hand over the SCO presidency to India. India will assume the next SCO rotating presidency and hold the next meeting of the council of heads of state of the SCO in 2023.

During the summit, an agreement was reached on admitting Bahrain, the Maldives, the UAE, Kuwait and Myanmar as new dialogue partners. Relevant parties noticed that MOUs granting Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar the status of SCO dialogue partners had been signed.

Samarkand Declaration, icing on SCO’s cake

The Samarkand Declaration which was signed by all countries participating in the summit underlined that the world today is undergoing global changes and has entered a new period of rapid development and major transformation, with the trend towards a multi-polar world intensifying, countries increasingly interdependent, and informatization and digitalization accelerating. 

“Based on the principles of the Charter of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the member states oppose grouping, and ideological and confrontational approaches to solving international and regional issues, and stick to a coordinated manner to security threats and challenges in traditional and non-traditional fields,” the declaration added.

Considering the views of the SCO member states, the declaration reaffirmed that it is of great practical significance to work together to build a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness and justice as well as win-win cooperation, and to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

In the declaration, the SCO states also emphasized the continuous implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and within the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

The SCO members also called on the JCPOA parties to commit to their obligations in line with the comprehensive, full and effective implementation of the JCPOA.

“The member-states stand for respecting the right of the people of all countries to independently choose their own paths of political, economic and social development,” according to the declaration.

The SCO emphasizes continuous implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) within the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

They also reaffirmed that differences and disputes between countries should be resolved peacefully through dialogue and consultation.

Elsewhere in the declaration, the member-states reiterated their steadfast commitment to combating terrorism, separatism and extremism.

They pointed out that the interference in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of combating terrorism and extremism is unacceptable, as well as the use of terrorist, extremist and radical groups for one's own purposes.

The member states underlined the key role of the United Nations in responding to threats in the information space, calling for creating a safe, fair and open information space on the basis of respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

The member states that are signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons are committed to strict compliance with the provisions of the treaty and consolidating the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, according to the declaration. 

The member-states also underlined that the only solution to regional conflicts is through political and diplomatic means “on the basis of adherence to universally recognized principles and norms of international law.”

They noted that the coordination of the situation in Afghanistan at an early date is one of the important factors for maintaining and consolidating security and stability in the SCO region. The SCO reaffirmed support for Afghanistan to become “an independent, neutral, united, democratic and peaceful country, which is free of terrorism, war and drugs.”

Raisi builds regional diplomacy in SCO

During his stay in Uzbekistan, President Raisi met several counterparts and used the SCO platform to build on regional diplomacy, open new windows of economic opportunities for Iran and build a strong regional coalition.

President reiterates Iran’s position on Azerbaijan-Armenia border clashes in meeting with Erdogan

Raisi and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met on Friday evening on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Samarkand.

While reviewing the agreements made during the recent visit of the Turkish president to Tehran and holding the 7th Supreme Council of Economic Cooperation between the two countries, the two presidents once again emphasized the need to speed up the implementation of these agreements.

During the meeting, the two sides also discussed the developments in the region, including the issues of Syria, Afghanistan, and the developments in the Caucasus region.
Raisi emphasized that Tehran is against “paternalism,” stating, “The basis of our policy in the region is that the future of the countries is determined by them, and their national sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected.”

Citing examples of Iran's support for friends and neighbors during different crises, the president elucidated that Iran is a friend of its neighbors.

Referring to the developments in the Caucasus region, Raisi explained the strategic policy of Iran is welcoming the freedom of the territory of Karabakh and prepare for its reconstruction, while calling any change in the international, historical and geopolitical borders of the region “unacceptable.”

Putin says Russia-Iran’s ‘positions are close’ 

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday met his Iranian counterpart Raisi on the sidelines of the SCO summit and expressed his happiness about Tehran joining the bloc.

Putin told Raisi that he was happy that Iran was joining the SCO.

“As we agreed with you, we have done everything for Iran to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Our partners in this organization have supported your application, all that is left is one last formality. It is indeed a formality, and Iran is joining this already serious, large, and authoritative international organization,” Russia’s state-run TASS news agency quoted Putin as saying.

Putin also stressed that Moscow and Tehran share similar views on many international issues.

He added, “Interregional ties are developing. We actively cooperate on the international arena and on many [points] our positions are close, or, as diplomats say, coincide.”

According to Press TV, Putin also said a delegation of 80 large Russian companies are set to visit Iran next week.

Work on major new Russia-Iran strategic treaty is nearly completed

Putin also hailed growing ties with the Islamic republic, saying “on the bilateral level, cooperation is developing positively.”

He added that work on a major new Russia-Iran treaty on strategic ties was nearly completed and that Moscow would be sending a Russian business delegation to Iran next week to develop commercial ties.

“We are doing everything to make Iran a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” Putin added, in reference to Tehran’s application for full membership in the group, which brings together China, Russia, India, Pakistan and four former Soviet Central Asian countries.

Raisi says cooperation among sanctioned states make them stronger
President Raisi also told Putin that cooperation among countries sanctioned by the United States will make them “stronger”.

“The relationship between countries that are sanctioned by the U.S., such as Iran, Russia or other countries, can overcome many problems and issues and make them stronger,” Raisi said.

“The Americans think whichever country they impose sanctions on, it will be stopped, their perception is a wrong one,” Raisi remarked, according to

The president said Tehran is “seriously determined to develop bilateral strategic relations” with Russia in the fields of politics, economy, trade, and aerospace.

It was the second meeting between Raisi and Putin in two months, after the Russian president’s visit to Tehran on July 19.

The Iranian president said his country’s membership in the SCO and its relationship with member states “can greatly help on the path of economic development for Iran and the development of the region.”

Xi calls ties with Iran strategic, backs Iran’s membership in BRICS

The Chinese president on Friday praised Iran’s independent position toward international developments and called the relations between Beijing and Tehran “strategic”.

“The relations of Iran and China is strategic and will develop irrespective of any international event,” Xi Jinping said in a meeting with Raisi.

Xi also pointed to Iran’s important position in the region and the larger world and said, “China supports the membership of Iran in BRICS.”

BRICS is the acronym coined to associate five major emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. 

Xi also invited Raisi to visit China.

The presidents of Iran and China also held talks on promoting economic cooperation and made decisions in this regard.

Raisi also lauded China’s constructive approach in the process of Iran’s membership in the SCO and thanked Beijing for backing Iran to join BRICS.

Raisi also said despite all hostilities by certain countries Iran’s move toward progress “has never” and “will never” been stopped and that the Islamic Republic will continue its path toward economic development.

Raisi also said the comprehensive strategic partnership between Iran and China shows that the two countries are firm to develop ties in all areas.

Existing potentials in the fields of oil and energy, transit, agriculture, commerce, and investment have created a very good situation for deepening economic ties between Iran and China, Raisi stated.

The president also criticized the U.S. and the European troika (Britain, France and Germany) for failing to honor their commitments in efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
Raisi added, “Iran will never back down in the face of U.S. blackmailing.”

Raisi says Iran sees no limit in ties with Pakistan 

In his talks with Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday, Raisi also said Tehran sees no limit to develop relations with Islamabad.

"Iran does not consider any limit for developing relations with Pakistan," Raisi noted, highlighting the importance of relations between the two neighboring countries.
Raisi once again offered his condolences to the Pakistani government and nation over the deadly massive floods that struck large swathes of the southeast Asian country, and wished patience and health for bereaved families.

The two sides also welcomed cooperation in the field of energy and emphasized the need to remove the obstacles in implementing the projects for the purpose.

The leaders of Iran and Pakistan agreed to form a committee consisting of relevant officials of the two countries to follow up and implement the plans, according to the

Modi says India and Iran share views on Afghanistan 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also called for closer interaction with Iran on issues relating to Afghanistan.

In his meeting with Raisi on Friday, Modi said his country and Iran share views about the developments in Afghanistan.

He also called for the continuation of regional and international cooperation between New Delhi and Tehran in regard to Afghanistan.

Modi also expressed India’s opposition to the imposition of unilateral sanctions on other countries.

For his part, Raisi said one of Iran’s top foreign policy priorities is to expand relations with India.

Hailing the cordial ties, Raisi said the two countries can promote cooperation in various fields, employ the capacities available in the oil and gas industries, and work in the transportation sector, especially in the Chabahar-Central Asia transit route.

Pointing to Iran’s advances in science and industry, Raisi said the cruel sanctions have failed to obstruct the Iranian nation’s progress.

Tokayev pushes for completion of corridor linking Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran

In his meeting with Raisi on Friday, Kazak President of Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also called for rapid completion of a corridor linking his country to Iran via Turkmenistan.

Highlighted the achievements of his recent visit to Iran in June, Tokayev stressed the need to equalize the customs and transportation tariffs among the three countries.

Facilities have been created for the travel of Iranian businesspersons to Kazakhstan, Tokayev stated, adding, "Efforts should be made to increase the existing logistics and transportation capacities."

Tokayev also invited Raisi to attend the upcoming CICA meeting in Kazakhstan.

Raisi, for his part, said Iran is determined to implement the agreements made during the Kazakh president’s visit to Tehran.

He also expressed hope that the relations between Tehran and Astana would lead to regional and international agreements as well.

Iranian, Belarusian presidents hold talks 

Prior to the meeting of the SCO heads of state council, Raisi also held a meeting with Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko.

At the meeting, Lukashenko said, "We need to stick together in order not just to survive but to take our place under the sun," according to BelTA.

Lukashenko also called on the two countries’ foreign ministries to intensify cooperation and to take stock of the relations.

Raisi says Iran ready to share knowledge with Kyrgyzstan

In a meeting with his Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov on Thursday, Raisi also highlighted Iran’s considerable scientific and technological progress, saying, “Iran is prepared to exchange its experiences and achievements to let Kyrgyzstan enjoy such major achievements.” 

He also stressed the need to greatly increase economic ties between Tehran and Bishkek.

Iran and Kyrgyzstan can promote regional cooperation in partnership with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, he stated.

For his part, Japarov said cementing ties with Iran is on the agenda of Bishkek’s foreign policy.

Expressing gratitude to Iran for assisting Kyrgyzstan in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he highlighted the significance of cooperation between the two nations in the transportation industry. He also described completion of a strategic railroad connecting Iran’s southern port city of Bandar Abbas to Central Asia as a leading factor in the enhancement of cooperation among Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

SCO chief: Iran relying on broad civilizational affinities with regional states 

In a meeting with President Raisi on Thursday, SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming hailed Iran as a great and influential country that can play a significant role in regional and international security.

Describing Iran as an influential country in the region that maintains close political and trade ties with the SCO, Zhang said Iran relies on its broad historical and civilizational affinities with the regional countries.

Pointing to the arrangements made by the SCO secretariat for Iran’s membership in the SCO, the Chinese diplomat said he and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian signed the memorandum of commitments allowing Iran to join the organization.

According to the memorandum, which includes 40 documents, Iran will attend the next year’s summit of the SCO as a full member, said.

For his part, Raisi explicated Iran’s extensive capacities in political, economic, technological and transportation fields.

The Iranian president also expressed the Islamic Republic’s readiness for close cooperation with the SCO member states in various arenas.

By signing its first memorandum of obligations, Iran's accession to the full membership of the organization will be finalized by April 2023.

Raisi calls for unity among Muslims

President Raisi also attended a mosque in Samarkand on Thursday night, during which he addressed the worshipers on the unity among Muslims, Tasnim reported.

Before participating at the SCO summit, the president told the worshipers that Muslims should follow Ahlul-Bayt who were symbols of unity in Islamic culture.

He also emphasized the shared cultural heritage and Iran and Kazakhstan’s view toward the world, saying that the two nations intended to develop ties.

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