۳۰ شهریور ۱۴۰۰ - ۱۰:۰۰
کد خبر: . ۱۰۸٬۴۸۳

Tehran(Bazaar): Iran's ascension to full membership within the SCO will enable it and Russia to work even more closely together on addressing unconventional security threats and tapping into economic opportunities. Most immediately, Iran can play a greater role in the SCO's efforts to manage the neighboring Afghan Crisis, Andrew Korybko tells Bazaar in an exclusive interview. 

Nothing that Iran's membership confirms its importance in 21st-century Eurasia, he also says that Iran can work closer with it to expand trade with the bloc's members, court more investment, and pioneer relevant Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) corridors such as the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor as well as a so-called “Persian Corridor” through Afghanistan and Tajikistan en route to the People's Republic.

Following is the text of the interview:

Bazaar: The Islamic Republic of Iran became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization at the 21st SCO Summit. What is the importance of Iran's permanent membership in this organization?

Korybko: Iran's membership confirms its importance in 21st-century Eurasia. It'll also enable the Islamic Republic to work more effectively with the group in responding to Afghan-emanating unconventional threats such as terrorism, separatism, extremism, and refugee-related ones. Another important outcome of this development is that Iran can cooperate with the SCO when it comes to advancing regional trade and connectivity opportunities too.

Bazaar: What economic benefits can membership in this organization bring to Iran?

Korybko: The SCO has recently taken to promoting its members' shared economic, financial, and connectivity interests. With this in mind, Iran can work closer with it to expand trade with the bloc's members, court more investment, and pioneer relevant Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) corridors such as the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor as well as a so-called “Persian Corridor” through Afghanistan and Tajikistan en route to the People's Republic.

Bazaar: At the SCO Summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin supported the start of Iran's full membership process and said: "We always support Iran's full participation in the SCO activities because Iran has an important role to play." We play in the Eurasian region and have been cooperating positively with this organization for a long time. Iran's accession will undoubtedly help further increase the organization's international authority. What will be the benefits of Iran's membership for Russia?

Korybko: Russia is always interested in cooperating with Iran as proven by their mutually beneficial management of the Syrian Crisis through the Astana peace process that they participate in alongside their shared Turkish partner.

Iran's ascension to full membership within the SCO will enable it and Russia to work even more closely together on addressing unconventional security threats and tapping into economic opportunities. Most immediately, Iran can play a greater role in the SCO's efforts to manage the neighboring Afghan Crisis.

Bazaar: What is China's view on Iran's membership and what are the benefits of Iran's membership in this organization?

Korybko: China and Iran reached a 25-year strategic partnership deal earlier this year and the People's Republic is always in favor of expanding relations with the Islamic Republic. Beijing views Tehran as a regional leader with impressive economic potential that has yet to be reached due to the West's so-called “maximum pressure” campaigns.

China envisions Iran functioning as a regional production powerhouse and a crucial transit state for facilitating BRI's entrance to West Asia. Iran is indispensable to China's West Asian strategy, which in turn gives the Islamic Republic massive regional strategic importance when compared to other countries.

Bazaar: Can Iran's permanent membership in this organization make Iran's participation in the "One Belt-One Road" project more serious?

Korybko: Absolutely. Iran's full membership in the SCO will make it much easier for the country to play a greater role in BRI. Its fellow organizational members might also find it easier to work with the country as well as invest in it too. It'll of course take time for these opportunities to mature and produce tangible results, but Iran is definitely on the right path for its socio-economic development.

Bazaar:The government of Ibrahim Raisi has a special emphasis on Asia-centeredness in its foreign policy, and the prevailing view of this government is that the center of power in the international system has shifted from the United States and Europe to Asia and countries like Russia and China. What is your assessment?

Korybko: This is the correct assessment of international trends. Iran has historical influence in West, Central, and South Asia so it's only natural that it takes advantage of that in a mutually beneficial way by exploring more trade and connectivity opportunities with those countries, especially through its new formal membership in the SCO. The past decade has seen Iran struggle in West Asia due to the trilateral US-”Israeli”-GCC containment campaign against it, though.

Its influence remains, but it's not what it otherwise could have been had those three not united in opposing it. In fact, one can say that Iran's difficulties in West Asia probably played a major role in inspiring its new leadership's geostrategic recalibration towards the East.

The US-”Israeli”-GCC coalition might not have anticipated such a major foreign policy move, which will eventually enhance Iran's resilience against the unconventional threats that they pose to it through their support of terrorism, separatism, and extremism as well as improve the country's socio-economic potential by opening up new relevant opportunities. President Raisi is therefore a visionary and his foreign policy team deserves to be praised for their Asia-centeredness.


 

۳۰ شهریور ۱۴۰۰ - ۱۰:۰۰
کد خبر: ۱۰۸٬۴۸۳

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