Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Iran joins Eurasian Bloc – A step towards economic integration

Iran joins Eurasian Bloc – A step towards economic integration

On September 17, 2021; Iran joined the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), a rapidly expanding Central Asian security body headed by Russia and China. Iran requested the Shanghai Cooperation Organization countries to help it establish a mechanism to stave off the sanctions imposed by the US. Iran was willing to join the Eurasian Union for a long time because it is a golden opportunity for Iran for its economic progress and to counter the US.

The Eurasian Economic Union, abbreviated by EAEU is an international economic union and free trade zone comprised of countries located in Northern Eurasia. The founding member states of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia established the union by treaty in 2014 and officially executed the agreement beginning on January 1, 2015.

Read More: Letting off the proscribed Taliban movement of Pakistan

The EAEU aims to increase cooperation and provide free movement of goods, services, capital, and labor. It follows a coordinated and single policy in the specified economic sectors based on a long-term economic agenda. Since then, the organization has expanded its membership to nine states including India and Pakistan, intending to play a bigger role as a counterweight to Western influence in the region.

Supporting this decision, back in 2017, Tehran Presidential Chief of Staff Mahmoud Vaezi said, “It is obvious that we should search for new partners and different markets for our products when the country is under sanctions and economic terrorism and when our old economic partners are under pressure by the United States.” He further added, “Being a member of the Eurasia Union is a very good opportunity for our businessmen.” He considered Iran’s participation in the Eurasian Union as a counter-attack to the US sanctions as the participation will strengthen Iran economically.

Iran joins Eurasian Bloc – A step towards economic integration

Undoubtedly, membership in the Eurasian Union will improve Iran’s economic and political position in the global arena. Iran is going to achieve several benefits after joining the Eurasian Union. A 25-year Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement was signed between Iran and China in March 2021 aimed at charting the course of their economic, political, and trade relations over the next 25 years. This partnership will prove very efficient in strengthening the security cooperation between Beijing and Tehran.

Consequently, this enhancement of the level of cooperation and expansion of relations with China is the biggest challenge for the United States. US President Joe Biden has tried to revive talks with Iran over the nuclear deal which was abandoned by former President Donald Trump in 2018, although harsh economic measures still remain in place which Tehran wants to be removed before any negotiations resume. Iran’s growing relations with China will help boost up its economy against the impact of the U.S. sanctions.

Iran is finally emerging from a state of strategic loneliness. After joining hands with the emerging powers, Iran will be able to strengthen its security because it fears that the US will try to organize military campaigns against Iran. By joining EAEU, Iran will have a chance to improve its weakened position in its neighboring Central Asia and South Caucasus with the help of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia.

It is very important to mention that Iran plays a very crucial role in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. China’s trains run to the Middle East and to the Persian Gulf through the Silk Road Economic Belt’s Corridor, named as the China-Central Asia-Western Asia Economic Corridor. These trains use Central Asian and Iranian railway infrastructure. Thus, Iranian seaports located in the Persian Gulf play an important role in developing China’s 21-st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Furthermore, the future rail link between Russia and Iran passing through Armenia and Azerbaijan will further strengthen ties between the two countries and Iran will grow its trading relations with other Eurasian Union members as well. Iran sees the upcoming opening of transport and energy routes to establish a direct land connection with Russia through the Nakhichevan region of Azerbaijan, parts of Armenia, and Georgia. Russia is also interested in promoting this idea.


Along with the advantages of joining the Eurasian Union, there are so many challenges for Iran and also disadvantages for some states. The Chinese are somewhat afraid that they may undermine their international position because of anti-Iranian sanctions, just as they had been cautious in their relations with Russia, unwilling to invest into Russia for the fear of international sanctions.


Moreover, Central Asian countries have good relations with the United States. There are some risks for the Eurasian Union member countries after the joining of Iran. Countries like Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, which have good relations with the US and need its help for implementing reforms and for maintaining the balance of powers in their regions, would demolish their ties with the US. They can face political and economic losses in the long term.


However, it is a golden chance for Iran to rebuild its weakened economy and repair its economic, political and social conditions. States can help Iran and the US to negotiate and act as mediators to remove the distrust between the two hostile parties.



Shumaila Ghazal

Author:  Shumaila Ghazal

She is an Undergraduate student of International Relations at International Islamic University, Islamabad

Get in Touch


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Advertise with us


Related Articles

Media Partner


Latest Posts

Register Now