Iran’s full membership at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) provides an opportunity for the Islamic Republic to foil US attempts to isolate the country, says an academic, adding that it will also prevent Washington from maintaining its hegemony in Asia.
“Iran is the most important power in Eurasia and its fortunes and allies are on the rise, so it is a very important addition to the organization. On the other hand, the future of the global economy is in Asia. It is the powerhouse of the economy; it is now the center of gravity with regards to global politics increasingly, as Western countries are on relative decline,” Mohammad Marandi, Professor of International Studies at University of Tehran, said in an interview with Press TV’s News Review program on Friday.
“The United States has been constantly trying to isolate Iran, harm Iran, marginalize Iran and this membership provides an opportunity for Iran to increasingly weaken US capabilities in doing so,” he added.
Marandi went on to say that Iran's strategic membership at the SCO is both beneficial for the organization and Iran, adding that it comes at a time when the situation in Afghanistan is increasingly important for all major Asian powers.
Marandi criticized the US for destabilizing Afghanistan in the first place under the pretext of fighting terrorism, saying now that American forces have been forced to leave the country, “they have a strong incentive not to allow Afghanistan to become a source for integration and Asian development, but rather a thorn in the side for its political rivals.”
“And therefore this opportunity brings these Asian countries together –Iran, Russia, China and neighboring countries of Afghanistan in order to prevent the country from falling into civil war and from disintegrating,” he said.
Iran's permanent membership in the SCO was approved on Friday during the 21st multilateral alliance's summit in Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe.
Leaders from eight member states and four observer states attended the annual summit, with the Chinese leader addressing it virtually along with Russian, Indian and Mongolian presidents.
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi and his counterparts from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan attended in person.
Marandi further denounced US sanctions against countries across the world, urging the international community to put a halt on this behavior.
He said the Unites States is effectively waging war against innocent people, particularly women and children, adding that they are being murdered as a result of the sanctions, which he said is their intended effect.
The academic also noted that the US targeting of many countries, especially members and partners of the SCO, creates a greater incentive for those nations to coordinate efforts together to build mechanisms to be able to ignore Washington and its demands.
As a result, the efforts of the US to marginalize Iran or any another country in Asia will decrease, he added.
His remarks came as Chinese President Xi Jinping also criticized sanctions imposed on world economic exchanges during the summit, urging SCO members to stay united against attacks by other countries.
Marandi further said that in addition to Iran, the US has failed in Venezuela, Cuba, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen.
“I think that in future we’ll see that the US will have increasingly more difficult problems at home and abroad. That will prevent it from being able to maintain its hegemony in this part of the world,” he said in conclusion.