Iran Joins the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: Enhancing Regional Cooperation and Security

Iran Joins the Shanghai

The recent India-hosted virtual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) marked a significant milestone as Iran officially became a full member of the influential regional organization. The admission of Iran, along with the progress made by Belarus towards membership, further expands the SCO’s reach and reinforces its relevance in regional and global affairs.

In this article, we will explore the significance of Iran’s SCO membership, the role of India as the summit host, President Raisi’s vision for cooperation, and the historical importance of Iran’s admission. Additionally, we will touch upon the progress made by Belarus in its journey toward SCO membership.

The Growing Importance of SCO Membership

In recognition of Iran’s full membership in the SCO, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated President Ebrahim Raisi and the Iranian people.

This demonstrates the growing interest of nations in joining the organization, emphasizing its importance and influence in addressing regional and global challenges. The SCO provides a platform for member countries to enhance collective security, promote sustainable development, and foster unity among nations.

India’s Role as the Summit Host

India, as the current chair of the SCO, hosted the virtual summit. Prime Minister Modi chaired the meeting, which included the participation of leaders such as Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and other SCO member states’ representatives. India’s role as the host reflects its commitment to fostering cooperation and strengthening ties within the SCO framework.

President raisins Vision for SCO Membership

Iran’s accession to the SCO, according to President Raisi, will provide a framework for achieving global security, sustaining prosperity, and fostering cooperation among members. Iran’s membership in the SCO signifies its strategic importance in the region and its commitment to cooperation within the organization. This opens avenues for Iran to engage in regional initiatives and contribute to the SCO’s goals and objectives.

Historical Significance of Iran’s Admission

The declaration issued after the summit highlighted the historical significance of Iran’s admission as a full member state of the SCO. This acknowledgment underscores Iran’s strategic importance and its contributions to regional stability, economic growth, and counter-terrorism efforts. Iran’s membership further solidifies the SCO’s role as an influential regional organization in promoting cooperation and dialogue.

Belarus’ Membership Advancement

The summit also acknowledged the progress made by Belarus towards achieving full membership in the SCO. Belarus signed the Memorandum of Obligations, a crucial step in its journey toward becoming a member state. Belarus’ potential accession to the SCO demonstrates the organization’s expanding influence and its commitment to fostering cooperation with nations beyond its original founding members.

Understanding the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

The SCO was established in 2001 during a summit in Shanghai, China, by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The organization’s membership expanded in 2017 with the inclusion of India and Pakistan as permanent members, further extending its reach and influence. The SCO’s primary objectives include strengthening regional security, combating terrorism, fostering economic cooperation, and promoting cultural exchanges among member states.

Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS)

The SCO operates the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), a specialized body that coordinates and facilitates intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism operations among member states. RATS plays a crucial role in addressing the shared threat of terrorism, promoting stability, and ensuring the safety of SCO member nations.


Iran’s full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation signifies a significant step towards enhancing regional cooperation, security, and stability. India, as the summit host, showcased its commitment to promoting dialogue and cooperation within the SCO. President Raisi emphasized the potential for collective security and sustainable development through SCO membership.

Belarus’ progress towards full membership further expands the organization’s influence and strengthens its ability to address regional challenges. As the SCO continues to grow, it serves as a vital platform for regional cooperation, fostering unity, and addressing emerging security threats in the Eurasian region.

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