Tehran Can Help Expand SCO Role

Tehran Can Help Expand SCO RoleTehran Can Help Expand SCO Role

Russia's special presidential envoy to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization expressed hope that the SCO will be able to make a greater contribution to regional and international developments after Iran and some other major countries in the region join the bloc.  

Bakhtier Khakimov made the remarks in a meeting with Ambassador in Moscow Mehdi Sanaei on Friday, IRNA reported.

He said Iran can help the SCO play a more effective role in the international arena considering the country's "political status and economic capacities."  

Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, had earlier said Iran might be admitted into the SCO this summer if it made progress in resolving disputes over its nuclear program, according to Eurasianet.  

The Russian envoy hoped President Hassan Rouhani will accept Russian President Vladimir Putin's invitation and take part in SCO and BRICS summits on July 9-10 in the Russian city of Ufa in Bashkortostan.

BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging economies, including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. BRICS members are all developing or newly industrialized countries, but they are distinguished by their large, fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs. Since 2010, BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits. Russia currently holds the presidency of BRICS.

The Iranian diplomat described the meeting of SCO-BRICS heads of state as "important" and "influential," hoping the events will produce positive results.  Sanaei pointed to the active participation of Iran in SCO meetings and said, "The membership of the Islamic Republic will help the organization expand the scope of its activities at regional and international levels."

Founded in 2001 in Shanghai by leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the SCO is a Eurasian political, economic and military organization. Iran has observer status in the organization.