0804 GMT January 24, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his address to SCO summit, said there is no obstacles for Iran to join SCO, according to IRNA.
President Putin said so while referring to Iran's active presence in SCO as an observer since years ago.
Also, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev said at the summit that when Iran inked the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and started its implementation, the ground was prepared for its permanent membership in the SCO in near future.
President Atambayev said his country supports that membership.
In addition, Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Pacific Affairs Ebrahim Rahimpour who was accompanying Zarif during his Tashkent visit, told reporters that presidents of China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, India and Pakistan have welcomed Iran's membership in the SCO.
In line with that membership, a British media reported a false news Wednesday claiming China is against Iran to joint SCO.
The British media claimed the news while the 16th SCO summit had not started yet on Thursday. Surely, the media was aimed to make negative impact on the issue of Iran's membership in SCO.
At the second day of the 16th SCO summit that began on Friday (June 24), almost all heads of the member countries underlined importance of speed in process of joining of Iran to SCO.
The anti-Iran action led by the British media was done with the purpose of putting in vain restrictions on members of Iranian delegation attending the most important regional meeting.
Iran's Rahimpour further rejected the claim against Iran, adding country's membership in SCO is a process that should be completed.
According to SCO regulations, sanction is described as an obstacle to join the body, said Rahimpour, adding the Organization should now decide for considering Tehran's membership while anti-Iran sanctions have been lifted since January 16.
Although Iran acts as one of SCO observers, it could meet its needs to regional cooperation through that status, the official added.
About the reason why Zarif left the SCO summit and the speculations raised after he did so in protest, Rahimpour said he left there due to say prayers and there had been no reason to protest against the SCO leaders' decision because the heads of China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, India and Pakistan have welcomed Iran's membership in the Organization.
He then said presence of Iranian foreign minister in SCO summit in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, was an opportunity for holding two important meetings there.
Zarif, there, held separate talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Those talks focused on boosting bilateral ties and deepening cooperation in regional questions.
Founded in 2001, Shanghai Cooperation Organization is an intergovernmental organization composed of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Regarding membership of India and Pakistan in the SCO, then Iran that will join the body in near future, the Organization will be turned into the biggest regional power around the world that serves benefits of member countries as well as non-members who work as economic partners.