Iran signs memorandum to join security body founded by Russia, China amid U.S. sanctions

A picture taken on November 10, 2019, shows an Iranian flag in Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant, during an official ceremony to kick-start works on a second reactor at the facility. (AFP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Amid U.S. sanctions over the disputed nuclear pact, Iran has signed a Memorandum of Obligations to become a permanent member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Iran’s foreign minister said that the country has signed a Memorandum of Obligations to join (SCO), a body found by Russia and China as Tehran seeks to overcome economic isolation amid U.S. sanctions.

“By signing the document for full membership of the SCO, now Iran has entered a new stage of various economic, commercial, transit and energy cooperation,” Hossein Amirabdollahian wrote on his Instagram page.

Iran will now be able to take part in meetings, although it is likely to take some time to achieve full membership, deputy secretary-general of the organization Grigory Logvinov told Russian state TV, which also reported the signing.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was in the Silk Road oasis of Samarkand, Uzbekistan on Thursday to attend a summit of the organization. He was expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian media reported.

(SCO) was formed in 2001 as a talking shop for Russia, China, and ex-Soviet states in Central Asia.

The body expanded four years ago to include India and Pakistan, with a view to playing a bigger role as a counterweight to Western influence in the region.

Iran’s economy has been hit hard since 2018, when then-U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, including Russia and China.

Months of indirect talks between Iran and U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration have hit a dead end over several obstacles to reviving the nuclear pact, under which Tehran agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions.





(Esta Media Network/Reuters)

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