Iran Signs 'Memorandum of Commitment' to Join Security Group Led by Russia and China

Iran signed the “memorandum of commitment” to become a permanent member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a central Asian security body, according to Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Iranian foreign minister.

“Now we have entered a new stage of various economic, commercial, transit, energy,” Amir-Abdollahian wrote in the post.

According to Reuters, the SCO, which formed in 2001, serves as a “talking shop” for Russia, China, and ex-Soviet states in Central Asia. The organization expanded in 2018 to include India and Pakistan and provide a greater counterweight to Western influence in the region, Reuters reported.

The SCO is holding a two-day summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, with attendees including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese Premier Xi Jinping, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Footage posted to Telegram by Zvezda News, a Russian defense ministry-run channel, shows Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi meeting. According to Zvezda News, Putin said Russia is “doing everything for Iran to become a full member of the SCO.” Credit: Zvezda News via Storyful