ASEAN Agrees to Iran Joining TAC

ASEAN Agrees to Iran Joining TACASEAN Agrees to Iran Joining TAC

Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed to the request by Iran for joining the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

The agreement was reached during the 49th ASEAN foreign ministerial meeting on July 24 at the National Convention Center in the Southeast Asian country Laos, IRNA reported.

ASEAN member states also agreed to requests by Chile, Morocco and Egypt to join TAC.

The bill to join TAC was presented to the Iranian Parliament in 2013. It calls for Iran's close cooperation with the international organization to help boost the country's economic prosperity.

TAC is a peace treaty among Southeast Asian countries established by the founding members of ASEAN, a geopolitical and economic organization of 10 countries located in Southeast Asia.

According to ASEAN's website, the purpose of the treaty is to promote perpetual peace, everlasting amity and cooperation among their peoples, which would contribute to their strength, solidarity and closer relationship.

***Longstanding Bonds

Attaching great importance to expanding political and economic cooperation with ASEAN, President Hassan Rouhani has already stressed that longstanding relations with Southeast Asian states can pave the ground for strengthening commercial, scientific and cultural ties with these states.

There are no updated figures to show the precise commercial trade value between Iran and ASEAN members. However, statistics released in 2012 indicate that the Persian Gulf state exported more than $2.6 billion worth of commodities to the Southeast Asian countries, yet the value of its imports from them stood at $2.3 billion.     

ASEAN is a regional organization that promotes both intergovernmental cooperation and economic integration among its member states. Since its formation on August 8, 1967, by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, the organization's membership has expanded to include Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Its principal objectives include accelerating economic, social and cultural development among its members, alongside the protection of regional stability and the provision of a mechanism for member countries to resolve differences peacefully.