At this anniversary meeting of the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on September 17, it will be decided to start the procedure of Iran’s admission to the organization. However, the way from the “green light” for accession to actual membership in the organization will take quite a long time because the documents that the candidate country must sign first are subject to ratification.
“To be clear – the accession process for India and Pakistan took two years, and they did everything quickly. Iran has its own legislative system. The process takes time – how long depends on the candidate state itself,” the interlocutor concluded.
Iran, which has had observer status with the organization since 2012, applied for membership as a full member back in 2008, but its membership was in limbo for many years due to the UN Security Council sanctions regime against Tehran. In 2015, following the emergence of the so-called nuclear deal with Iran, the sanctions were lifted. But further talks about the country’s full participation in the SCO became stalled by Tajikistan: Iranian authorities had once harbored a Tajik Islamist opposition leader, and Dushanbe perceived this as an attempt by Tehran to shake the Tajik authorities’ position.
“All this time there have been certain questions about the country; now these obstacles can be considered to some extent removed,” the interlocutor explained.
The SCO summit will be held in Dushanbe on September 17, marking the 20th anniversary of the organization’s founding.