From left to right: delegates of member states of the Eurasian Economic Union: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Kyrgyzstan

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (04:50 PM) – The Islamic Republic of Iran is due to join the Eurasion Economic Union (EEU) soon, with all formalities planned to be finalised in a short time from now. This was reported by Behrouz Hassanolfat, Director of the Europe and Americas Department of the Trade Promotion Organisation, to official Iranian media.

Hassanolfat stated that official membership of Iran to the massive Eurasian power bloc is planned to come into effect as early as February 2018. The EEU itself had confirmed earlier that a deal with Iran was scheduled to be signed by the end of 2017.

The EEU is an economic union with a single market, consisting of Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Russia. Within the union, free flow of goods, services, capital and workers is guaranteed. The bloc was formed in January 2015 as a counterweight to the economic pressure of the European Union and the US.

According to Director Hassanolfat, Iranian membership of the EEU would greatly benefit the Iranian economy, by facilitating trade with Iran’s northern neighbours as well as getting rid of certain tariffs and easing customs regulations at border crossings.

In March 2017, the prime ministers of the five member Eurasian Economic Union member states resolved to make talks with Iran a priority, as this would further increase the reach of the bloc that already counts over 183 million inhabitants.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been a longtime proponent of Iranian membership of the Eurasian bloc, stating “Iran is Russia’s longtime partner. We believe that bilateral relations will benefit from the reduction of tensions around Iran following the comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program.”

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Historian specialized in Arab history, Islamic studies and geopolitical analysis. Based in Belgium.

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