Nuclear deal removes barriers to Iran joining SCO

Tehran, Feb 27 (IANS) The implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear programme will eliminate obstacles in the way of the country’s accession to the SCO, Russian presidential envoy to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Bakhtier Khakimov said.

The implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement eliminates the barriers for Iran to join the SCO, IRNA news agency quoted Khakimov as saying on Friday.

SCO Secretary General Dmitry Mezentsev had said in July that Iran’s full membership in the organisation was not possible so far because of the sanctions.

On July 14, Iran and the P5+1 group — the US, Britain, Germany, France, China, and Russia — concluded negotiations over Tehran’s civilian nuclear programme, with the Islamic Republic and the sextet sealing an agreement.

According to the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), all economic and financial sanctions against Iran will be removed.

In addition, all bans on Iran’s Central Bank, shipping, oil industry, and many other companies will be lifted.

The official added that after the implementation of the JCPOA begins, the SCO will put Iran’s membership request on its agenda and the country can become a full member of the organisation.

The secretary general of the SCO said the organisation was currently cooperating with Iran on various levels, saying: “Since 2005, Iran has been attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s meetings as observer member.”

At present, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has six permanent members: China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Mongolia are observer states while Turkey, Sri Lanka, and Belarus are “dialogue partners” of the organisation.

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