‘The SCO (Shanghai Co-operation Organisation) countries face common threats in the form of America and NATO’, says the Iranian newspaper Resalat.

Full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation include Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan and India have observer status, and Iran attended the SCO’s recent meeting held in Tajikistan.

Last Tuesday Resalat published an article: ‘A look at the recent meeting of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation – the centre for bypassing the West’, by Sahab Fatemi, showing how Iran views the organisation.

It stated: ‘The issues and solutions discussed in the SCO meetings are directly and automatically related to the efforts to limit the power of the West.

‘One of its main aims is to form a joint political committee to ensure continuous and permanent contact between the members of the organisation.

‘On the one hand, this committee can regulate the balance of power between the members of the organisation; and, on the other hand, it can prevent major differences in that organisation.’

It added: ‘The Iranian president (Mahmud Ahmadinezhad) left the SCO’s meeting with many positive gains.

‘What is remarkable in the proposals he put to the organisation is that they represent his dynamic foreign policy which over the past three years has been turned into our source of strength against big powers.

‘The SCO emerged out of the rivalry between the “big powers” over the geo-politically important region of Central Asia. The first aim of that organisation was to de-militarize the region between China and the Soviet Union.

‘The SCO came into being with the signing of an agreement in order to “deepen military trust in border areas” in April 1986.’

The agreement was initially signed by the leaders of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.

Those countries signed another agreement in Moscow (24th April 1997) in order ‘to reduce military forces on border areas.

Resalat observes that ‘The member states and the observer states of the SCO collectively possess the biggest economic, military, nuclear and space capabilities in the world, and are the biggest producers and consumers of energy in the world.

‘The area of land occupied by SCO constitutes more than a quarter of the entire dry land in the world.

‘Consequently, the SCO can easily resist the West and NATO, and can change international equations in favour of the East.

‘The participation of the president of our country in the meeting of the SCO meeting came at a time of the weakness and decline of the power of Washington – the coming together of the East against the West has become a matter of great strategic importance.

‘The SCO meeting coincided with the West’s preoccupation with the crisis in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, an issue which has increased the importance of the meeting.’

It continued: ‘Iran did not play merely the role of an observer state, but Iran put forward a realistic set of proposals in keeping with the norms of international and regional co-operation in redefining the role of the SCO.

‘Ahmadinezhad made five fundamental proposals.

‘The Islamic Republic of Iran proposed that economic, commercial, financial and fiscal dealings between the member states must be regulated based on the currencies used in those countries, and exchange rates between the currencies of those countries must be based on firm economic standards.

‘The establishment of a bank by the SCO with the participation of all member states to facilitate exchanges between them was another suggestion.

He also stressed that ‘Regulating international security co-operation among the member states as one of the most important steps for ensuring collective security in the East, was an important issue .

‘Iran also proposed that to bring the political views of the member states closer, political consultation should be carried out among the member states on a continuous basis.

‘The last proposal was to form a judicial body in order to resolve possible differences among the member states.’

The newspaper continues: ‘An SCO bank would automatically protect the markets in East and Central Asia and even in the Middle East against the unpredictable fluctuations in Western markets.

‘The SCO possesses a very high economic potential, and one should make use of that potential in order to strengthen the regional and collective economy.

‘The issue of security is also regarded as an important SCO topic. The collective security in this organisation must be considered in the context of “the capabilities of the member states” and “the common threats that they face”, as the SCO members are mainly the countries that decide the issues of the East vis-a-vis the West.

Resalat argues: ‘The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation upsets the current systems of the contemporary world in favour of America’s opponents.

‘In the meetings of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation some major goals and interests are taken into consideration, while in the meetings of NATO and even the G8 only middle issues form the basis of discussions among the participants.

‘As a result, the agreements signed and the decisions taken in the meetings of the SCO are more important and more prominent.

‘On the other hand, the SCO has disrupted all the customary borders between the North, South, East, West and . . . and it has formed a structure in which America and Europe, as the biggest enemies of humanity, have no place.

‘Contrary to many other meetings in which America and the European Union take the other side, the SCO does not have any desire to create tension.

‘The states that take part in those meetings use all their energy and all their capabilities in order to resolve common problems and ensure the forward movement of the entire Organisation.

‘ However, in the meetings of the UN Security Council, NATO and the G8 the political energies of each side are spent on moderating the behaviour of the White House and Britain.

‘But the SCO consists of a number of countries that face common threats from America and NATO. Consequently, all the issues and solutions that are discussed in the meetings of this organisation are automatically aimed at limiting the power of the West.

‘The SCO provides a venue where Beijing and Moscow are able to reveal their true policies, free from American pressures, and British, French and German tricks.

‘If military and economic relations between China and Russia were strengthened, the ability of the White House to manoeuvre in free markets would be greatly reduced.’

Resalat says: ‘The role of Tehran as the most influential member in the Middle East at the present time was undeniable.

‘The opposition of Iranian President Ahmadinezhad to the policies of NATO and the West resulted in strengthening many points of agreement between Iran, Russia and China.

‘Iran has been turned into a focal point for bringing together America’s opponents, and this worries the officials in the White House and the leaders of NATO.

‘It is essential to expand the SCO to confront the White House’s domineering and unilateral policies.

‘In view of its record of 30 years of resistance against Washington and the West, and its understanding of security relations in the Middle East and the Sub-Continent, Iran can become a powerful and dependable member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

‘As Iran has proposed, there is a need for a joint political committee to be formed with the aim of establishing continuous and constant links between the members of the SCO.

‘An important point to bear in mind is that the SCO is still very vulnerable.

‘The most important source of its vulnerability is the imbalance between political and economic issues in the eyes of some of its members.

‘However, by defining the common goals, and by engaging in continuous consultation among the members of the organisation, that vacuum can be filled.

‘The formation of a judicial organisation would also automatically regulate the legal relations within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

‘Finally, the president of our country left the SCO’s meeting with many positive gains.

‘On that basis, while observing international developments, Tehran also plays a creative and guiding role in various fields, and with its rational initiatives it is pursuing the policy of bypassing the West.’