MOSCOW, May 18 /TASS/. The forthcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) due in Ufa, the capital of Russia's Bashkortostan Republic, may outline new perspectives for Iran’s membership of this regional organization as progress is being made on Iran’s nuclear program, problems linked to Iran’s nuclear program are being settled, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta published on the daily’s website on Monday.
"Iran has applied for SCO membership quite a long time ago. Given that the criterion of SCO membership requires that a potential candidate should not be under the UN Security Council sanctions, the SCO has not formally considered the application so far," Lavrov said.
"As soon as agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is fixed, there will be no obstacles to Iran’s accession to SCO," the Russian foreign minister added.
Under the current circumstances, Lavrov said, Russia suggests that the SCO summit in Ufa, that will formally give the green light to India and Pakistan to join the organization, should also pass a decision that will emphasize the SCO’s readiness to advance the question of Iran’s membership as progress is being made on settlement of Iran’s nuclear program consequently removing grounds for preserving the UN Security Council sanctions.
"With almost two months left before the SCO summit, it would be too early to say anything because lots of things may happen over that period of time. But I have every ground to assume that this progress will be sufficient enough to enable the ministries preparing this summit to suggest that the heads of state meeting in Ufa pass a political decision. It will show a clear perspective for Iran’s membership of the organization," the Russian foreign minister said.