Iran given roadmap for joining Russia and China in major bloc
Tehran has committed in writing to be a full-fledged member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Iran signed a memorandum paving its way for full membership to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) from the status of observer.
It has been long under attack by the US with sanctions and isolation diplomatically. On Thursday the US took a formal move to make the Middle East nation the nineth member. Among the SCO’s heavyweights are Russia and China, two major powers that are on Washington’s list of geopolitical opponents.
As an intragovernmental platform, the SCO was founded in 2001 with the purpose of promoting trust and developing humanitarian and economic ties in Asia.
The current eight permanent members of the group are China, India (Kyrgyzstan), Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan. This last host the annual summit for the heads of member countries in Samarkand.
Iran has been a SCO observer ever since 2005. The Iranian delegation at the summit will be headed by President Ebrahim Rashi, who also met with Uzbek leaders on Wednesday.
Hossein Amir Abdollahian (Iran Foreign Minister) and Zhang Ming (SCO Secretary General), signed the memorandum. The foreign ministry in Tehran reported that it was signed.
Yury Ushakov, a foreign affairs advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said earlier this week that Iran could qualify for being upgraded to full membership before next year’s SCO summit in India.
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev touted this year’s event as a turning point for the organization. He cited the growing interest in the SCO by nations and stated that this event was a good example of the way the SCO can be used to help countries. “deep crisis of trust at the global level”All parties can work together to overcome this problem. He also stressed the scale of the group, which accounts for roughly half of the world’s population and a quarter of global GDP.
Belarus is also an SCO observer and will begin the formal process to become full member this year. On Wednesday, Egypt and Qatar joined the organization to become dialogue partners. Saudi Arabia will follow suit, with Bahrain, Kuwait and Myanmar following.