Deputy FM rejects rumors on denial of Tehran membership in SCO

Moscow, June 24, IRNA – Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific Affairs Ebrahim Rahimpour on Friday rejected rumours claiming that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has denied membership to Iran.

The report was for the first time circulated by a British media before the start of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting in Uzbekistan capital.

Talking to reporters on the sideline of the meeting, inaugurated in Tashkent on Friday, Rahimpour reiterated that the decision has not made yet.

Pointing to the removal of anti-Iran sanctions, he said sanctions were considered as the main hurdle on the way of Tehran’s membership in SCO.

After removal of sanctions against Iran, he said, the SCO should decide about Iran’s membership in the organization.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization conference opened in Tashkent on Friday with participation of Zarif.

Zarif who leads the Iranian delegation is to address the gathering.

Iran has currently an observer status in the SCO but is expected to gain full membership as a result of the ongoing SCO conference.

Zarif arrived in Uzbekistan from the Netherlands Friday morning, wrapping up his two-day official visit there.

The sanctions on Iran over the nuclear dispute with Washington were one of main obstacles in the way of Tehran’s full membership in the SCO.

India and Pakistan were admitted to SCO full membership last year.

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

These countries, except for Uzbekistan, had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in 1996; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organization.