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Iran says SCO membership to end isolation

Iran is hoping to expand its economic ties after it enters the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
An Iranian man reads a copy of the daily newspaper "Etalaat" bearing the headline "Iran is a new member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation", at a kiosk in the capital Tehran, on Sept. 18, 2021.

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.

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