WTO allows Iran membership bid

Members of the World Trade Organisation have agreed to allow Iran to open negotiations to join the body that governs international commerce.

    Iranian WTO envoy Mohamed Alborzi talks to reporters

    Trade officials said on Thursday that the United States, which repeatedly had blocked Iran's long-held desire to join the WTO, raised no objections.

    The WTO takes such decisions by consensus.

    "This is an historical decision," said Ujal Singh Bhatia, India's ambassador to the WTO.

    "The principle of universality has been strengthened. We look forward to working with Iran for its accession."

    Observer status

    As a result of the decision on Thursday, Iran now has observer status and can sit in all meetings of the WTO.

    Iran first applied to join the WTO in 1996, but the US blocked its application 22 times.

    US officials in Geneva declined to comment on the decision made by the WTO's governing General Council.

    WTO membership is one of the rewards European Union negotiations have been offering Iran if it agrees to curb its nuclear program to ensure that it produces only electricity and not weapons.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.