Moscow supports Iran’s accession to SCO: Russian FM

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran has good prospects to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) if it follows the nuclear agreement with world powers, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, expressing Moscow’s support for Tehran’s accession to the SCO.

On April 2, Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) reached a framework nuclear agreement after more than a week of intensive negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland, with both sides committed to push for a final, comprehensive accord until the end of June.

The framework provides a series of solutions that will be the basis of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

In a Monday interview with Rossiya Segodnya news agency, Lavrov made it clear that Iran’s accession to the SCO will have good prospects if Tehran follows through the agreements on its nuclear energy program reached in Lausanne last week.

“Depending on how the business is going with the detalization of agreements on Iran, if there is no disruption …, we, the foreign ministers, could recommend the presidents and head of governments of the SCO member states to consider such a document regarding (accession of) Iran,” Lavrov said, according to a Sputnik report.

Lavrov’s remarks came as Iranian president’s special representative Ali Akbar Velayati had also noted that Russia supports Iran’s full membership in the SCO.

“Russia agrees to Iran’s full membership in Shanghai Cooperation Organization but (the implementation of) this issue takes time,” Valayati said after holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in the late January.

Later in February, Russia’s Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov also said that the process of Iran’s accession to the SCO can start this year, but it requires making political decisions.

“We hope that this year, in the framework of Russia’s presidency (in the SCO), certain political decisions at the highest level will be taken, which will launch this process,” he added.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a political, economic and military organization which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Mongolia are observer states of the SCO, though Tehran has already filed an application for official membership in the organization.

By Tasnim News Agency