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‘Iran can play a vital role in further strengthing SCO’

New Delhi, A leading Indian political analyst believes that presence of the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani at the two-day summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at Qingdao, China was highly important as Iran can play a vital role in further strengthening of the grouping.

In an exclusive interview with IRNA here Monday, Dr. Geeta Kochhar who is an Assistant Professor at the 'Center for Chinese, South and South East Asia Studies' at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, said: Iran is seen as a potential resource centre and all SCO members foresee a need to create peace in the region. Iran's presence and willingness to cooperate is significant for the extended organization and cooperation among the member states.'

Elaborating on the areas where Iran can play significant roles in the SCO, the seasoned analyst of the China and South-East Asia affairs said: Iran can cooperate with the SCO member-states in a number of areas: one, the connectivity projects. Two, helping curb terrorism and three, it can assist in finding the roots and causes of the growing religious extremism in the region. Hence, it is desirable that Iran works as a bridge between SCO nations to explore the cultural convergences and develop ties.'

To a question on possibility of India joining the future oil and gas pipelines between Iran and China, she said: If China will have oil and gas pipelines from Iran, India would be more willing to join such projects provided the threats of security and terrorist attacks can be reduced to minimal.'

Terming the US pulling out of the Iranian nuclear deal as a factor in declining of the US status as the world leader and in speeding up the emergence of a new world order, Dr. Kochhar said: 'The emergence of multiple power centers is an ongoing phenomenon with the rise of new powers. But, the US president Donald Trump's decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal has just created more space for the same.'

On the need for an alternative international banking system to counter the US hegemony of the present one, she said: There is a greater need for an alternative international banking system, especially with the Chinese currency (RMB) pushing towards internationalization. There cannot be and will not be a sole supremacy with strong economy taking the control of the financial systems and demanding fair and impartial working.'

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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