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News number: 8807211301

16:49 | 2009-10-13

Foriegn Policy

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Iranian VP: US Seeking Membership in SCO

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi announced on Tuesday that a number of western countries, including the US, have shown enthusiasm for joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

"The organization plays global role and of course the goals and activities of the organization are within the framework of international laws and it is worthy to say that countries like the US and Turkey are seeking to join the organization as a member state or an observer," Rahimi told reporters before leaving Tehran for Beijing to attend an upcoming SCO summit.

He also pointed out presidents of the member countries, including Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are slated to attend the upcoming summit due to its special importance.

Rahimi also reiterated that the Iranian delegation is due to hold some meetings with Chinese and other countries' officials on the sidelines of the summit.

"We hope to have good achievements for our country and we are scheduled to negotiate over a set of political, cultural and economic issues in our meetings with Chinese and other countries' officials," he added.

The SCO is an intergovernmental international organization founded in Shanghai on 15 June 2001 by six countries: China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Its member states cover an area of over 30 million km2, or about three fifths of Eurasia, with a population of 1.455 billion, about a quarter of the world's total. Its working languages are Chinese and Russian.

Tehran is interested in joining the block. Currently, Iran is an observer member of the regional block.

With its twin pillars, China and Russia, the SCO is seen as a counterweight to the US unilateralism