Russian Expert-Iran Russia-Ties

Head of Russia's Center for Contemporary Studies on Iran here Monday considered improving his country's relation with Iran as a necessity.

Rajab Safarev added in his interview with one of Russia's state satellite TVs, "Russia can pave the path for Iran's membership at Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the framework of its new level of ties with Iran."

He added, "If Iran would become a SCO member, the SCO would become the third most influential, most powerful international body after the United Nations and the European Union."

Safarev said, "I even believe the SCO would rank second, next to the UN, from competence point of the view, after Iran's membership." The Russian political analyst added, "The SCO would also get stronger following Iran's membership, because its member states would be the owners of two thirds of the world's energy sources which gives them a great financial power."

The SCO is currently comprised of five countries, namely Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, while Iran, Mongolia, India, and Pakistan attend its sessions as observers.

The head of Russia's Center for Contemporary Studies on Iran said, "If Russia's relations with Iran would improve to a higher level, Russia too would gain higher capabilities for implementing its programs in line with its will to emerge as a superpower one more time."

According to this Russian expert, the most precious fruit of such an important development would be the establishment of the strategic Iran-Russia, China axis.

Safarev pointed out that China's dependence on Iran's energy sources and the West's fear from China's rapid economic growth has led to the long delay in construction of a natural gas pipeline to transfer Iran's gas to China.

He said, "Russia can relying on its broader cooperation with Iran mediate for accelerating the construction of the Iran-China gas pipeline."

According to him, China can be among the financial sponsors of this project that would lead to provision of a part of the energy it needs in its rapidly growing economy, while Russia would find two major partners in the deal.

The Russian political analyst said that the project is a macro scale plan and that will yield huge financial benefits for Iran, while Tehran would be backed up by two nuclear powers, namely Russia and China in it.

He said that the other benefit of pursuing such projects would be decreasing the level of ambitions of such Western countries, as the US and the UK, that would begin to realize how much they need Russia, Iran and China.

[Source: Islamic Republic News Atgency, Moscow, 15Sep08]

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