Iran becomes full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Iran was officially admitted on Friday as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance.
The decision to admit Iran as a full member was declared in the 21st SCO summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Iran had observer status of the organization since 2005.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who addressed the summit virtually, confirmed Iran’s permanent membership.
The rapidly expanding Euroasian security body led by Russia and China, seeks to play a bigger role as counterweight to Western influence in the region.
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi arrived in Tajikistan on Thursday for the summit, his first official trip since taking office in August.
In a press conference with his Tajik counterpart, Emomali Rahmon, Raeisi emphasized that relations with Tajikistan are one of the priorities of the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy.
Experts say Iran’s full membership provides an opportunity for the Islamic Republic to foil US attempts to isolate the country.
In an address to the summit, Raeisi criticized the United States for show-fighting terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq for more than two decades which only resulted in the loss of many opportunities for the two countries to provide security and prosperity for their people.
Leaders from eight member states and four observer states attended the annual summit, with the Chinese leader addressing it virtually along with Russian, Indian and Mongolian presidents.
Raeisi and his counterparts from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan attended in person.