Date: 26 september 2021
On September 17, 2021, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (“SCO”) launched the procedures of Iran's accession, which are expected to take around two years to complete. This step is touted as a diplomatic success in Iran.
The leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan met in Shanghai on April 26, 1996 to discuss security concerns, and in June 2001, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan announced the formation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization by signing an agreement.
SCO is regarded as a Eurasian alliance and its members house around 40% of world population. Some Iranian politicians would like to see SCO as an anti-western, or at least a balancing alliance. However, the list of members of this organization is too incoherent for it to function in such a role.
The Islamic Republic of Iran in 2021, has become the ninth country to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Iran had, nevertheless, assumed an observer status in the organization since 2005 but its full membership was delayed due to differences with Tajikistan, one of the smaller members. A recent effort at diplomatic rapprochement with Tajikistan removed this obstacle and Iran is going to be admitted as a full member.
At the 21st Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Iran's President Ebrahim Raeisi, pointed to the possibility of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization becoming a driving force of global multilateralism and stated that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and its "governing spirit" - mutual trust, common interests, equality, mutual consultation, respect for cultural diversity and common development - are key tools for maintaining peace in the 21st century.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a virtual speech at the SCO summit, announced his full support for Iran's membership in the SCO.
Iran's newly appointed Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also stated in a tweet: The strategic membership of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has an important impact on the process of Iran’s comprehensive cooperation in line with its neighborhood and Asia-centered policy.
With Iran membership in the Shanghai Organization, Iran relations with Eastern countries will enter a new era and new capacities in security and international cooperation will be gained.
.An expert of the Institute of Economic Diplomacy, said he believes that Iran's membership in the SCO will give it access to huge markets across the Asian continent.
While Iran’s accession to SCO is a prestigious diplomatic achievement for the new Administration, whether or not, Iran would be able to receive any economic gains from this membership will depend on whether it will succeed in resolving its other international problems, such as international sanctions.
On September 17, 2021, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (“SCO”) launched the procedures of Iran’s accession, which are expected to take around two years to complete. This step is touted as a diplomatic success in Iran.