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ECO Summit in Tehran: Iran Axis of Regional Interactions

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Economic Cooperation Organization must be described as a package of direct economic opportunities and indirect political opportunities. By stabilizing its position, ECO in addition to pursuing the objectives of the member states is trying to create a new climate for the active countries in the region to play a positive role.

Classic texts of science of logic always stress that logical arguments must be based on strong and definite principles. Today if we compare the Economic Cooperation Organization to a logical matter that has been created out of the joint need of a number of states and requires a strong haven to check heavy international storms, this responsibility must certainly be delegated to the Islamic Republic of Iran as an independent and stable country in the region.

The pivotal role of the IRI in ECO was stabilized with the holding of the 1st ECO Summit in Tehran (1992) which led to political recognition of its formation. The trend has been continuing with Iran playing a key role in the field ever since. As a result, Tehran’s role in giving objectivity to the position of ECO in interactions in the Middle East and Central Asia should not be overlooked. Although population as well as political and economic potentials of the ECO member states have created a significant and exemplary position for the organization, nonetheless, the presence of a more superior and dominant lever over such a body is inevitable.

The land border of the Islamic Republic of Iran with five important countries of ECO on the one hand and creation of ECO permanent secretariat in Tehran on the other, are among factors which underline the pivotal role played by IRI in this organization.

The regional grouping was launched in 1962 by Iran, Turkey and Pakistan under the name of Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD). The organization has now 10 member states which also include Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. In addition to its effective organizational status in regional interactions, ECO is working to improve its image as a “future building” body in the Middle East while many analysts describe it as a “heartland.”

With a population of 360 million or ¼ of the world’s Muslim population, ECO is considered the largest economic organization in the Islamic world and has huge trade, commercial and industrial potentials. Furthermore, political and negotiation potentials of ECO as the contact point of Asia, Europe and Africa as well as its prominent position at strategic and geo-strategic levels too provide considerable opportunities for its active members, including Iran.

The presence of high-level officials and heads of ECO member states in Tehran, in addition to reiterating the role and status of Iran in the organization is a firm proof that efforts by certain Western countries to impose political isolation on IRI in the domain of foreign relations have been thwarted.

All in all, the Economic Cooperation Organization must be described as a package of direct economic opportunities and indirect political opportunities. By stabilizing its position, ECO in addition to pursuing the objectives of the member states is trying to create a new climate for the active countries in the region to play a positive role. Undoubtedly, achievement of the ultimate goals of organizations such as ECO will not only undermine the presence of foreign powers in important parts of the world but will also block the way (or at least make it harder) for trans-regional interventions through deepening of regional relations.

Source: http://www.mehrnews.com/fa/

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