TEHRAN – The decline of unilateralism has led to an increase in the number of nations seeking to join multilateral international organizations like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Iran’s deputy foreign minister for political affairs says.
Ali Bagheri Kani brought up the rising trend of countries joining international economic organizations like the SCO and the BRICS during a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Ryabkov in Tehran on Monday.
“This is the outcome of the waning of international mechanisms belonging to the unilateralism front,” he stated.
In addition to bilateral ties, recent regional and global developments, and the talks to ease Washington’s sanctions against Tehran, Ryabkov and Bagheri Kani addressed a wide variety of other topics of mutual interest during their meeting at the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. emerged as the leader of the unipolar world. But in recent years, a new multipolar world order has begun to take shape, with several nations challenging the U.S. hegemony in both politics and the economy.
In an effort to promote multilateralism and challenge unilateral policies, several governments have applied for membership in international organizations.
Last month, Iran gained full membership in the SCO, the world’s largest regional organization in terms of geographic scope and population.
The nation has also formally applied to join the BRICS, a bloc of fast-developing economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Speaking at a gathering of the Friends of BRICS Foreign Ministers in Cape Town in June, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said Iran is one of the pioneers of multilateralism.
He added Iran and some BRICS nations are members of significant international cooperation agreements.
“For the Islamic Republic of Iran, BRICS can be the next significant target of our multilateral policy. This is why we are among the first states that have officially declared interest to join BRICS and its frameworks of cooperation,” the foreign minister noted.
During a meeting with Serbian State Secretary Goran Aleksic on Sunday in Tehran, Bagheri Kani stated that “collaboration” and “respect” are the cornerstones of Iran’s policy toward Europe.
Bagheri Kani said that Iran is prepared to support efforts to advance security and stability in Europe.
“Iran’s policy towards this strategic region, the Balkans, is to cooperate with regional countries with the purpose of strengthening stability and security,” he added.
The senior diplomat also stressed the need to expand commerce with Serbia and other Balkan nations. Consolidating economic relationships, he asserted, is essential for long-term stability.
For his part, the Serbian official said that his “constructive visit” to Tehran can strengthen bilateral ties in all areas.
Aleksic also praised Iran for standing up for the territorial integrity of Serbia and asserted that more commerce between the two nations is unavoidably necessary.
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