Iran has finally begun the formal process to become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The process, which will take up to two years, is in line with President Ebrahim Raisi’s goal of improving ties with neighboring countries. Iran has had observer status in the Asian security body led by Russia and China for 15 years, and it hopes membership will improve the country’s economy.
After arriving from Tajikistan, where the summit was held during which Iran’s membership was approved, Raisi ordered Iran’s ministries to prepare reports on their abilities for cooperation with the SCO. “Today, not just the Foreign Ministry but all of the ministries have a responsibility to make the most of the country’s economic prosperity from the opportunities provided,” Raisi said Sept. 19.