China ‘Highly Appreciates’ and supports Iran’s desire to become SCO member

Sputnik News– Beijing supports Tehran’s aspirations to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

China supports Iranian application to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Assistant Foreign Minister Li Huilai said Monday.

“Iran is an SCO observer country. For a long time, Iran has been actively participating in various important events in the framework of the SCO. Iran has made a positive contribution to the development of the SCO. The Chinese side highly appreciates this. The Chinese side welcomes and expresses support for the desire of the Iranian side to become a full member of the SCO,” Li Huilai said at a special briefing dedicated to the upcoming SCO summit.

The assistant minister added that the issue of Iran’s accession to the organization would be “carefully considered” at the meeting in strict accordance with the existing rules of the SCO and on the basis of consultations of all parties.

Iran currently has an observer status within SCO. In 2008, the country applied for full membership, but the organization refused to consider the application amid UN sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

The SCO is an intergovernmental international organization, established on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai by Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia and Uzbekistan. At the summit in Uzbekistan in June 2016, the SCO leaders signed memorandums on the accession of India and Pakistan to the organization.

The SCO’s 2017 summit will be held in Astana on June 8-9.