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

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.