Foreign Policy Blogs

Tajikistan enters Iran's NPT fray via economic diplomacy

Tajikistan's President Rahmon has been visiting Iran as head of his country's economic delegation.  It appears to have been a fruitful meeting for both sides:

Transportation and Energy:
Tajikistan, NE; Iran, WNew initiatives on land, rail, and air transport were agreed upon between the two countries.  This is extremely important news, as transport via Uzbekistan for Tajikistan's commerce if difficult; Afghanistan remains the alternative middle ground between Tajikistan and Iran. 

Further discussions between Iran and Tajikistan are clearing the way for Iranian investment in Tajikistan's Sangtoudeh power plant.  Energy remains another critical area of commerce in which Tajikistan has remained beholden to Uzbekistan.

Tajikistan enters Iran's NPT fray via economic diplomacyOther substantive news for the Middle East and Central Asian geopolitics have come out of this working visit, via a Thirteen-article Written Statement signed by both Mr. Ahmadinejad and Mr. Rahmon:

1. Justice, spirituality, and stability are needed to promote world peace.  Given recent Islamic accents to Tajikistan's cultural laws, the statement about spirituality may have some interesting connotations.

2. A tripartite Afghanistan-Iran-Tajikistan Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed concerning anti-drug trafficking, economic aid, and anti-terrorist activities.

3. Tajikistan called for Iran's full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a collective security organization which is headed by China and includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan as members.  Iran was given observer status in the SCO last year.

4. Tajikistan affirmed Iran's right as a sovereign nation to continue to show interest in Iraq and the conduct of Iraq's nation-building.

5. Tajikistan affirmed the right of Iran to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Tajikistan enters Iran's NPT fray via economic diplomacyThough the negotiations were held primarily with Mr. Ahmadinejad, Iran's Expediency Council also appeared to endorse the bilateral arrangements.  Mr. Rafsanjani said that the ties between Iran and Tajikistan were limitless, to which Mr. Rahmon replied that Iran's scientific progress was a matter of honor for Tajikistan's people.  Tajikistan enters Iran's NPT fray via economic diplomacyAyatollah Khameini also said that Tajikistan's culture was inseparable to that of Iran's, according to the Tehran Times.

Mr. Ahmadinejad has been invited to visit Tajikistan and apparently intends to do so, but at a date yet unspecified.

All but one link from Iran's IRNA news agency . . .
Map: Britannica
Photos:; BBC