Iran to join Shanghai alliance with China, Russia next week: Russian Foreign Minister

Iran has intensified its diplomacy with friends and foes alike in recent months, seeking to reduce its isolation, improve its economy, and project strength.
Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabollahian, left, and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during BRICS summit. (Photo | AP)
Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabollahian, left, and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during BRICS summit. (Photo | AP)

MOSCOW: Iran will be formally approved as a member of the regional Shanghai Cooperation Organisation with China, Russia, and Central Asian countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

"At the meeting of heads of state on July 4, the full membership of Iran will be approved," Lavrov said at the opening of an SCO center in Moscow.

Iran has intensified its diplomacy with friends and foes alike in recent months, seeking to reduce its isolation, improve its economy, and project strength.

SCO membership was already on the cards and Iran is also hoping to be quickly accepted into another grouping that excludes Western countries -- the BRICS group with Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

The SCO, which has its headquarters in China, is a diplomatic organization with eight members, including India and Pakistan.

Kremlin ally Belarus is also applying to join, and Lavrov said Friday that next week's virtual summit would "begin the procedure" for that membership to go ahead.

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