MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is expected to visit Moscow on June 4 to participate in a Shanghai Cooperation Organization security conference, Russian Presidential Envoy Bakhtier Khakimov said Friday.
"An invitation was sent and the Iranian Embassy has confirmed [Zarif’s attendance] through a diplomatic note,” Khakimov said.
Earlier in May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia favors a political decision to promote Iran’s membership in SCO dependent upon progress in the Iranian nuclear talks.
Tehran filed a request to join the regional cooperation group, but the bid has not been formally considered because the SCO’s charter prohibits the accession of candidates under UN Security Council sanction.
The UN Security Council, the European Union and several individual countries slapped Tehran with sanctions over its nuclear energy program. Some of the sanctions will be lifted when the final comprehensive agreement between Iran and international negotiators to ensure the peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear energy program is reached.
The SCO, a Eurasian political, economic and military alliance founded in 2001, currently comprises Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Iran, India and Pakistan, as well as Mongolia and Afghanistan currently have observer state status, while Belarus, Turkey and Sri Lanka are alliance dialogue partners.