0854 GMT April 19, 2019
Ali Asghar Khaji said on Sunday that Iran has officially applied for membership in SCO while it currently has an observer status in the organization, reported Trend News Agency.
Describing Russia, China, India and Pakistan as important members of the SCO, he said Iran has no restrictions on becoming a permanent member of the Eurasian political, economic and security organization.
Khaji noted that anti-Tehran sanctions cannot prevent Iran from becoming a full- fledged member of the SCO and that the Islamic Republic should grab the opportunity to improve ties with SCO member states.
The remarks by the Iranian envoy came as the Chinese port city of Qingdao was hosting the two-day Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin were among the leaders attending the summit. President Hassan Rouhani from Iran, an observer state, also participated.
Multilateral trade systems and China's One Belt One Road Initiative was on the agenda of SCO summit.
The SCO last year formally approved membership for India and Pakistan. The total population of the alliance's member states now exceeds three billion.
The SCO was formed in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to curb extremism in the region and enhance border security.
The intergovernmental organization seeks to strengthen mutual trust and good-neighborly ties between the member countries, contribute to regional stability and facilitate cooperation in different sectors, including political, trade, economic and energy issues.
The SCO counts four observer states, namely Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus and Mongolia. It has six dialogue partners, including Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka.