By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
What does acceptance of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s membership in the Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, mean?
It means a lot in view of the fact that the now 9-member body is the largest regional organization in the world in terms of geographical range and population, covering three-fifths of the Eurasian
Continent and nearly half of the Planet’s population.
It also means that Tehran’s foreign policy is its own and not dependent on the whims of the West, its deception, its false promises, and its backstabbing tactics.
Moreover, Iran, despite the illegal sanctions, or more properly the economic terrorism of the US, has continued its progress in all fields, including safeguarding of peace and security, and is now in a prime position to reap the benefits of inter-SCO trade exchanges with members as well as states having observer status.
President Hojjat al-Islam Seyyed Ibrahim Raisi in his address on Friday at the SCO Summit rightly remarked: “Maintaining and strengthening peace in this vast area is not a choice but a necessity.”
While, welcoming the SCO decision to admit Iran as a full member, he said members shoulder an important responsibility, because “hegemonic powers as well as terrorism, extremism and separatism pose immediate threats to global peace and security, by targeting many countries, especially members and partners of the SCO.”
The Iranian president who is in Dushanbe, the capital of the Persian-speaking Central Asian republic of Tajikistan for the Summit, drew attention to the fact: “The major part of the world’s cultural and spiritual treasury is in Asia, and Asia has been the cradle of human civilization, and its beating heart in China, India, and Iran.”
He called spirituality as the eternal need of humanity and the lost treasure of today’s world, saying “the crisis of spirituality is the foundation of all crises in the world. Monopolies, violence and human rights abuses are manifestations of the consequences of staying away from spirituality. Iran can play an important role in the development of cultural regionalism.”
President Vladmir Putin of Russian, joining the talks from Moscow via video conference, said Iran’s accession will certainly help further increase the SCO’s international clout.
He added: “We always support Iran’s full participation in the activities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization because Iran has played an important role in the Eurasian region and has a long-term positive cooperation with this organization.”
Earlier, the conference was inaugurated through vide link from Beijing with a speech by China’s President Xi Jinping, who welcomed Iran’s membership, and said without naming the US or any other western country: “We must never allow any external interference in the domestic affairs of countries in our region under whatever pretext and we should keep the future of our countries’ development and progress firmly in our own hands.”
In his speech, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Zhaparov focused on an important point regarding trade ties when he suggested that SCO member-states ought to shift to settlements in the national currency.
He said: “We welcome the initiative on the creation of SCO financial mechanisms, particularly the Bank of development and the Fund of development, for the implementation of economic projects in the organization. It is suggested that consultations continue in this regard and the possibility of using those institutes as a mechanism of shifting to settlements in the national currency be considered.”
Hopefully, these initiatives will soon take practical shape to make SCO members independent of the pressures, sanctions, threats, and economic terrorism of the West, the US in particular.
The importance of the SCO could be gauged from the statement expressed a few years ago by President Racep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey whose country currently has observer status: “I have discussed the possibility of abandoning Turkey’s candidacy of accession to the European Union (EU) in return for full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.”