Director General of Iran’s plenipotentiary trade office said Iran’s membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a long-term process and that agreement of the US or EU does not accelerate the process. Speaking to FNA here on Friday, Esfandyar Omidbakhsh noted the impediments posed by the US to the formation of Iran’s working group in the WTO, and said Tehran can present its trade regime report to the WTO secretariat without forming any working group and continue the process for its membership in the organization.
He further added that the report on Iran’s trade regime is already prepared and that Tehran is now waiting for the appointment of the chairman of its working group, a stage which has been blocked by the big powers, specially the US.
“Therefore, the new proposal brought up by the US Secretary of State cannot be considered as an advantage at all,” he continued.
The official said the recent statements by Condoleezza Rice that the US is not opposed to Iran’s membership in the WTO are the same old words which do not bear any special advantage for Iran.
“Her statements pertain to Iran’s membership in the organization as an observer while Iran’s observer status has already been approved,” he reminded.
Omidbakhsh also described concessions of the US and EU as unimportant, stressing that Iran should undergo the lengthy process for joining the WTO anyway.
He further reminded the case with Russia, and added, “Although Russia has gained the United States’ agreement, it is still waiting for membership in WTO.”