Hello defence lovers! Recently The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or SCO has received its 9th permanent member. This permanent member is none other than Iran. Now how Iran managed to join SCO despite American Sanctions? In this article, we are going to discuss what will be the impact of India as Iran joins SCO. We will also discuss how India will benefit from this situation.
What Is Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO ?
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or SCO is a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance. It consists of 8 member states (India, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, China, and Pakistan), 4 observer states (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, Mongolia), and 6 dialogue partners (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Turkey). Though it is named after the Chinese city Shanghai, its headquarters is located in Beijing. SCO mainly focuses on counter-terrorism (ironic for some members) and collective security along with trade. However how successful are the counter-terrorism and collective security goals is doubtful as one member is the safest place on earth for a terrorist and one member’s hunger for land can never be satisfied.
Iran Joins SCO
Earlier Iran was an observer member of SCO. Finally, after 15 years of wait, Iran has become a permanent member. Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi has declared this event has Iran’s diplomatic victory. Iran had to overcome many hurdles due to the American sanctions imposed by Former American president Donald Trump.
Impact On India
Iran joining SCO is a win-win situation for both India and Iran. India’s primary interests in SCO in economic rather than political or military. The central Asian countries are much more interested in SCO collective security pacts. For India tow of its members are its greatest adversaries, so collective security and anti-terrorism aspect are irrelevant.
Iran’s Charbahar port plays a critical role in this situation. Central Asia is a huge market for Indian companies. The access to these markets lies through Iran. Earlier India had planned to access the central Asian markets through Iran and Afghanistan. But now after the fall of Kabul and the Taliban takeover, this seems to be difficult. Now as Iran became a part of SCO, trade with the central Asian countries which are SCO members, though Iran will be much easier and smoother. Iran’s struggling economy will also get some relief as it will get tariff relaxation from other SCO countries.
Iran hates the Taliban as much as Tajikistan and other central Asian countries do. Now Iran will be able to cooperate with the SCO countries to check the Taliban’s drug trafficking, which is its primary source of income. This will seriously affect the Taliban’s revenue generation in a situation when it is about to go bankrupt. This will have a positive impact on India as well as on the entire region except for the republic of terrorists, Pakistan.
India will benefit economically from this development in the future. However, things will be different if the UN imposes sanctions on Iran. Apart from economic engagement, India should distance itself from organisations like SCO and SAARC. The military engagement with SCO will be harmful to India in the long run as it sends a very bad impression to our western allies such as France and the US. Staying in organizations like SCO where our adversaries like Pakistan and China are present, who are always involved in a proxy war with us, is not going to be beneficial. India should focus on groups where at least Pakistan is not present.