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Russia supports Iran’s accession to Shanghai Cooperation Organization — diplomat

A consensus is needed for the decision to be made, however

MOSCOW, April 18. /TASS/. Russia firmly supports vesting Iran with full-fledged membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), but some other partners oppose the idea, the Russian president’s special envoy on SCO affairs said.

"We stand for this firmly and consistently, and we are open about it," ambassador at large Bakhtiyer Khakimov said in an interview with the Kommersant business daily. "We tell our partners that Iran’s accession would be justified."

"However, there are certain reasons why this question remains unsolved," Khakimov went on. "Certain partners have a different stance on the matter, and a consensus is needed for the decision to be made."

The declaration to establish the SCO was signed in June 2001 by six states - Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The decision to accept India and Pakistan as full-fledged members of the organization was made in 2015, although they remain acceding states to date. Iran received the SCO observer status in 2005.

The presidents of Russia and Iran, Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani met in Moscow on March 28. In a joint statement after the talks, the Russian side reiterated its support to Iran’s bid for the full-fledged SCO membership and spoke in favor of this application to be considered in due order as soon as possible.