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Iran's full membership of SCO to be finalized in 2023: Reports

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo shows the flags of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)’s full and observer states.

Iran's full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a transcontinental political, economic, and security alliance, is expected to be finalized by next year, according to multiple reports citing officials.  

A report in the Chinese state-run daily Global Times, citing Iran's embassy in Beijing, said after signing its first memorandum of obligations at this year's summit to be held in Samarkand in September, Iran's accession to the full membership of the Euroasia-spanning organization will be finalized by April 2023.

"Based on the decision of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the SCO Member States at the SCO summit in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) on September 15-16, 2022, it will be decided to instruct the Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to sign a Memorandum of Obligations of the Islamic Republic of Iran to obtain the status of a member state of the SCO,” the embassy told the Chinese daily on Tuesday.

"The adoption by the SCO Heads of State Council of the decision on granting to the Islamic Republic of Iran the status of a member state of the SCO at the SCO summit [will be finalized] in 2023," the statement added.

The Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance was formed in 2001 by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan at a summit held in Shanghai.

China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, India, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan are its current full members. Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus, and Mongolia are observer states.

The organization accounts for 40 percent of the world's population and 28 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP).

Earlier, Russian media outlet Sputnik reported on Monday that Iran is slated to join the SCO as a full member state this year, citing a foreign ministry statement of the organization's rotating chair Uzbekistan.

Iran first applied for membership in the alliance 15 years ago. The approval of Iran’s candidacy came at a summit in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe last September.

Addressing the summit, after the announcement, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi said the world had entered a new era when hegemony and unilateralism were declining.

"The international order is shifting towards multilateralism and redistribution of power in favor of independent states," he said, adding that the SCO and its governing spirit of mutual trust, common 

interests, equality, mutual consultation, respect for cultural diversity, and common development were key tools for maintaining peace in the 21st century.

Late last month, Tehran also officially applied to become a member of the BRICS group, which comprises major powers such as Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

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