Pres. Raisi: Iran Supporting Multilateralism to Resolve Regional, Global Issues

Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Raisi underlined that his country’s foreign policy has always been based on supporting multilateralism and active participation in international organizations to confront regional and global challenges.

President Raisi made the remarks in an address to the 21st Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Tajikistan’s capital of Dushanbe on Friday.

“The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has always been based on active participation in international organizations, multilateralism and opposition to unilateralism based on justice, cooperation, mutual respect and the need to play a constructive role in facing international and regional challenges,” President Raisi said.

He reiterated that the world has entered a new era where hegemony and unilateralism are on the decline, and said, "The international system is changing towards polarization and redistribution of power in favor of independent countries."

The Iranian president, however, warned that challenges such as terrorism, extremism and separatism are currently posing a threat to international peace and security.

“As in the not-so-distant past, Asia is at the center of global change. Maintaining and strengthening peace in this vast area is not a choice but a necessity. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and its ‘governing spirit’ i.e mutual trust, common interests, equality, mutual consultation, respect for cultural diversity and common development are key tools for maintaining peace in the 21st century," he added.

The Iranian president said that the first challenge is the coronavirus pandemic, which not only targets the health of the nations but also has significant social, economic, political and security consequences.

He also lauded the efforts made by the SCO members, specially China, Russia and India, to help global vaccination, and said, "Any disruption to the process of assisting humans’ health under the pretext of sanctions is against the principles of human rights and amounts to a crime against humanity."

President Raisi described sanctions as economic terrorism, and said they are the hegemonic powers' most important tool to impose their own will on others.

“Sanctions or economic terrorism are among key obstacles to promoting regional harmony. The SCO needs to design structures and mechanisms for a collective response to sanctions,” the Iranian president added.

He warned that unilateral sanctions are not limited to one country, but as it has become clear in recent years, they include more independent countries, particularly the SCO member states.

“It is important and necessary to design mechanisms for collective confrontation with unilateral sanctions in the framework of this organization,” the Iranian president said.

He noted that insecurity impedes development and terrorism hinders sustainable economic growth.

"With a history of more than 40 years of relentless confrontation and fight against terrorism and extremism, the Islamic Republic of Iran has rendered worthy services for the realization of peace and justice in West Asia," President Raisi pointed out.

“I extend my hand of cooperation to all countries participating in this summit for the realization of peace and alliance in the fight against terrorism and extremism. We need collective action to ensure security and justice as key infrastructures for development and progress,” he added.

The Iranian president concluded that the SCO member countries can use the existing methods to achieve and promote peace and security based on diplomacy and boost comprehensive interaction on the basis of justice and spirituality by relying on their deep-rooted history of civilization.

The SCO officially admitted Iran as a new member of the Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance at its 21st summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on Friday.

"Perfectly pleased to announce that the permanent membership document of the Islamic Republic of Iran was approved by the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Dushanbe in the presence of our esteemed President," Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian tweeted Friday.

"This strategic membership has an important impact on the process of comprehensive cooperation between Iran in line with the policy of neighborhood with and pivot to Asia," he added.

The 21st edition of Shanghai Cooperation Organization kicked off in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan on Friday.

The SCO consists of nine permanent member states, including Iran, India, Kazakhstan, China, Kirgizstan, Pakistan, Russia and Uzbekistan. Three states of Afghanistan, Belarus, and Mongolia are still observer members and six countries of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkeyو and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is an effective regional and intra-state organization, which was established by leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in 2001.