Iran wants to join Eurasian union, but will Russia allow it?



Asia Times | MENA-FN

(MENAFN – Asia Times) The Russia-dominated Eurasian Economic Union might soon be acquiring a new member: Iran. Boxed in because of its rivalry with other states in the Middle East, and laboring under US-imposed sanctions, Tehran believes it needs to strengthen ties with such neighbors as might be willing to accept it.

Iran appears to think that membership in the EAEU is a done deal, despite officials of the bloc denying they had received any formal request. When Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, Speaker of the Iranian parliament, visited Moscow on February 10, he declared Iran would ‘permanently join the EAEU in two weeks.’ Apart from the fact that the date has passed, such optimism is extremely premature.

The response from Mikhail Myasnikovich, chairman of the board of the Eurasian Economic Commission, was telling. The Eurasian union wants Iran to have ‘a special view on cooperation with Eurasia,’ he said, which hardly sounds like a warm welcome. Other EAEU officials have stressed that Iran must formally apply for membership – a veiled warning, perhaps, that Iran cannot expect to bypass procedures.

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