Foreign Policy Blogs

Iran and the SCO: Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride

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Just last Thursday, Kazakhstan's thriving capitol, Astana, hosted the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's Heads of Government Council meeting. I could not find many reports about what was accomplished at the meeting besides the official statement from the group's website, which was drier than a drought in the Sahara's. The official statement reported that the group's members discussed further collaboration on various business and economic issues. There was no mention of a Gas Club or of the advancement of new members, specifically Iran.

It is possible new administrations coming in the United States and in Iran, there may be a chance for rapproachment, and this may actually increase the chances of Iran gaining greater SCO cooperation, as the nation's strained relations with Washington make it a dangerous partner to invite. I still find it difficult to believe that Iran will be allowed in the SCO anytime soon, as China is too cautious to invite such attention abroad, for what would probably be minimal gains. Though there are others who feel it is a match made in heaven. Also of note, Mongolia's, a staunch US ally, President attended the annual SCO Summit last August and had a representative at this latest meeting.

Back to Iran, here is a well-thought out analysis of how the dramatic drop in oil prices from all time highs has caused the reassessment of the foreign policy approaches of Iran, Russia, and Venezuela. The bombast, outward looking regimes of these three states may have to back off some of their ambitious agenda's in their respective regions.

(Photo Source: SCO Official Website: Those are some handsome looking fellas!)

 

Author

Patrick Frost

Patrick Frost recently graduated from New York University's Masters Program in Political Science - International Relations. His MA thesis analyzed the capabilities and objectives of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Central Asia and beyond and explored how these affected U.S. interests and policy.

Areas of Focus:
Eurasia, American Foreign Policy, Ideology, SCO

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