16:55 GMT +323 February 2017
    Iran's President Hassan Rouhani

    China, Russia to Actively ‘Push Forward’ Iran’s SCO Membership

    © AP Photo/ Ebrahim Noroozi
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    With international sanctions against Tehran lifted, both Russia and China will push forward for Iran’s full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), expert in East Asian politics from De La Salle University in Manila Professor Richard Heydarian told Radio Sputnik.

    During his two-day visit to Iran on Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a joint statement with President Hassan Rouhani in support of Iran's application for full membership in the SCO.

    Iran applied for full membership in the SCO back in 2008, but due to international sanctions it couldn't become a full member of the organization. Now, with the sanctions lifted, the Iranian government said one of its priorities would be to get full SCO membership.

    "The plan for Iran to become a full-fledged member and no longer just an observer in the SCO will be really pushed forward. As far as I'm concerned both China and Russia are on board for Iran to be part of the organization," Heydarian told Radio Sputnik.

    China would also be interested in becoming one of the major buyers of Iranian oil. Having been excluded from the international market due to the sanctions, Iran would want to ramp up the export of its oil. Even low global oil prices wouldn't deter Iranians from increasing their share of oil sales. China certainly wouldn't mind that, the professor of political science said.

    Furthermore, Iran would become an even more important player in the gas market, as the country has the second largest natural gas reserves after Russia.

    Closer cooperation with the SCO means that China would have an opportunity to develop closer economic ties and build a joint project with Iran, Heydarian said.

    In July, Iran signed a historic deal with the P5+1 group of international mediators, including Russia, the United States, China, Britain, France and Germany, to ensure the peaceful nature of Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for the easing of sanctions.

    The SCO is a political, economic and military alliance comprising Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Pakistan and India's applications to join the SCO were accepted in July, however they will only officially accede to the organization following the completion of certain procedures.    


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    • Again who was talking about isolation? The same who are losing ground on the geopolitical chessboard.
    • avatar
      The addition of India, Pakistan and Iran is very significant. World influence is shifting eastward. I think it's a healthy adjustment that is overdue.
    • avatar
      Not least of the benefits is the military component. When Iran is supplied and protected by the SCO like turkey is by NATO, the houses of Erdogan and Saud will calm down or go extinct, faster than in the current course. Iran in the sco will at minimum restore some kind of stable balance of power in the middle east.
    • avatar
      michaelin reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, agreed, with that wonderful skill called hindsight I can say that it seems like this has been coming for quite a while.:) Seriously though I was thinking about comments made at the beginning of the century, lauding China and then the observations of the ways that the Viet Namese were also riding in the slipstream and so on. Maybe the shift eastwards is increasing in tempo? :)
    • avatar
      karlof1in reply tojas(Show commentHide comment)
      jas, They along with Russia and Central Asian 'stans will finally solve the Afghan problem and kick NATO out of the region once and for all. Afghanistan's also an SCO Observer. It'll take some time to accomplish, but much shorter than the 15 years the Outlaw US Empire's been trying and failing at everything except for poppy growing.
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