TEHRAN (Tasnim) – IranianPresidentHassan Rouhani praised the close bonds between Iran, Tajikistan and Afghanistan, and stressed the necessity for the strengthening of ties among the Persian-speaking countries. “The progress of any of the regional countries could contribute to the fulfillment of their interests, their development and welfare,” Rouhani said in a meeting with Tajikistan’s new ambassador to Tehran on Tuesday. “Tehran and Dushanbe have always had widespread ties in the political, economic and cultural fields, and they should promote the cooperation in diverse arenas by employing the whole available capacities,” the president added. Pointing to his forthcoming trip to Tajikistan, Rouhani said he plans to study the ways to implement the previous agreements in the meetings he will hold wit high-ranking Tajik officials. The new envoy, Nematollah Imamzada, also submitted his credentials to the Iranian president, saying he feels duty-bound to “prepare the ground for the expansion of bilateral relations, especially in the economic field,” during his tenure in Iran. President Rouhani is scheduled to visit Tajikistan this month to attend a summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The SCO is a political, economic and military organization which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Mongolia are observer states of the SCO.