Iran’s permanent membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) can open a new horizon for the Islamic country to nullify the US-imposed sanctions and improve its economic situation, a political expert believes. Ruhollah Puresmaili told IRNA on Saturday that following the takeover of power by the administration of President Ebrahim Raisi and a switch in the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy, new avenues for improving the political and economic condition of the country have been opened, which can develop the livelihood of the Iranian people. The expansion of regional cooperation and convergence especially with neighboring states is one of the most important priorities of the 13 administrations in Iran, Puresmaili noted. The member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization reiterated that they are not allowed to accept permanent membership of observer states, who are under international sanctions, but they have reached the conclusion that they can promote Iran as a full member in this juncture because they have a new interpretation of Tehran’s foreign policy, the analyst added. President Raisi’s pragmatic viewpoint towards the Eastern world has persuaded the main SCO member states to vote for permanent membership of Iran in the organization, he argued. Pointing to Iran’s significance for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, he said that the Islamic Republic is an integral part of the economic and energy corridor in the region and the whole world particularly in the eyes of the SCO member states. According to the international relations expert, China as the emerging economic power of the world requires Iran in order to reinvigorate the ancient Silk Road. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization consists of one-third of lands, 42 percent of the population, 25 percent of gross domestic products, 21 percent of oil reservoirs, and 46 percent of gas reserves in the globe, he said. The change of Iran’s status in the SCO can also pave the way for improving security cooperation among member states, he added, noting that it can help resolve regional crises especially recent developments in Afghanistan.