BRUSSELS, September 14. /TASS/. Iran will be able to kick off the process of joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) shortly after the United Nations Security Council sanctions are lifted, Russian president’s SCO envoy Bakhtiyer Khakimov said on Monday.
"Iran is a number one candidate in the region. The process of comprehensive settlement of the nuclear problem makes it possible for that country to become a member of the organization in the foreseeable perspective," he said after a regular meeting of senior officials from the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) countries.
"We spoke much about that [Iran’s accession to the SCO] with our partners. In general, they share the opinion that Iran, which has been enjoying an observer status with the SCO for almost ten years since 2006, has proved its commitments and capability of being a good and active member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization," Khakimov underscored.
"However there is a formal criterion, that is, a state [seeking SCO membership] must not be under U.N. sanctions," he noted. "We have understanding that the signal that has already been sent [after reaching a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear dossier - TASS] gives a possibility to think about practical consideration of Iran’s application for SCO membership after the U.N. Security Council sanctions are lifted."
"We will insist on settling this issue, since Iran is a key player in the region and has proved its commitment to joining the SCO," the Russian diplomat added.