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Iran gains full Shanghai Cooperation Organization membership

Flags flutter at the headquarters of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Beijing on July 4, 2023.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has officially approved Iran's full-fledged membership in the world's largest regional organization in terms of geographic scope and population.

Iran became a SCO member during the 23rd virtual summit of the bloc which started on Tuesday with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its chairperson.

Iran first applied for membership in the alliance 15 years ago, but it took until 2021 for the request to be approved.

The SCO, which has its headquarters in China, is a diplomatic organization with eight members, namely Russia, India, Pakistan, and the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

Iran and the organization started a formal process for Tehran’s accession to the bloc in March 2022. In September of the same year, Iran signed a memorandum of commitment to join the SCO. A month later, the Iranian parliament approved the country's accession to the organization.

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