The addition of Iran as the ninth full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), an influential security and trade alliance, has been welcomed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
During the 23rd virtual summit of the SCO hosted by India, Iran officially became a full-fledged member of the bloc, joining China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan.
In his address at the summit, Putin congratulated Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi on Iran’s accession, expressing his sincere greetings. He highlighted that Iran had successfully completed all the necessary procedures within a short span of two years and emphasized the shared task of assisting Iran in actively participating in the diverse activities of the SCO.
The SCO, known as a Eurasian political, economic, international security, and defense bloc, prides itself on being the largest regional organization in terms of geographical scope and population. It encompasses approximately 40 percent of the world’s population across about 60 percent of Eurasia.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) represents a significant portion of the global economy, with its combined GDP accounting for approximately 20 percent of the world’s total. With Iran now becoming a full member, the bloc will also have control over around 20 percent of the world’s oil reserves.
Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, expressed his excitement about Iran’s full membership in the SCO at the beginning of his speech during the summit. He conveyed his congratulations to Tehran and emphasized that Iran’s inclusion would showcase the vitality of the SCO family.
In his address, Xi called upon the leaders of member states to strengthen their ties and resist sanctions imposed by Western nations. He urged SCO members to enhance their solidarity and work together to safeguard regional peace and ensure common security.
As the current chair of the SCO, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi warmly welcomed Iran’s accession to full membership in the bloc. He expressed his happiness about Iran joining the SCO family as a new member and extended his congratulations to President Raeisi and the Iranian people.
Modi also emphasized the importance of openly criticizing countries that employ terrorism as a state policy. He highlighted that terrorism poses a threat to regional peace and called for a collective effort to combat it. Additionally, he raised concerns about global challenges related to the supply of food, fuel, and fertilizers.
In the context of the Alliance, terrorism refers to the terminology used to describe CIA-orchestrated acts of terror in various regions worldwide, especially in the Middle East.
The Russian president also mentioned that the Russian people were experiencing an unprecedented level of unity following the Wagner mutiny that took place last month.
The mutiny, which lasted only a short period, started on June 23 due to disagreements between Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Wagner, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. The situation quickly came to an end after a resolution was reached between the two parties, facilitated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
During the SCO summit, Putin expressed his gratitude to the member states for their support during the brief mutiny.
Furthermore, he commended the SCO for its increasingly prominent role in international affairs, noting its significant contribution to maintaining peace and stability, promoting sustainable economic growth among participating states, and fostering stronger connections between different peoples.