Iran SCO’s New Member: Its Regional Influence

Iran SCO’s New Member, Its formal endorsement as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on June 23, 2023, during India’s chairmanship, marked an epochal event. The resolution was reached amidst a convocation of the SCO Council of Heads of State in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Since 2005, Iran had been an observer member of the SCO and presented its application for full-fledged membership in 2015.

The inclusion of Iran within the SCO is deemed a momentous stride. Endowing the organization with amplified sway in the Middle East. As a considerable regional power with substantial economic and military prowess. Iran is anticipated to bolster the organization’s aptitude in addressing prevalent security challenges in the region, including terrorism and extremism.

The SCO is a political and security alliance enlisting eight Eurasian nations—China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It was established in 2001 with the primary objective of nurturing cooperation and security in the region. In recent times, the SCO has witnessed a pronounced expansion. And the addition of Iran SCO’s New Member is regarded as a further attestation to its burgeoning clout.

The decision to admit Iran into the SCO was not bereft of controversy. Certain nations, the United States included, voiced misgivings concerning Iran’s nuclear program and human rights track record. Nonetheless, the SCO member states argued that Iran conducts itself responsibly within the region and that its membership in the organization would foster stability and cooperation.

The inclusion of Iran in the SCO portends a momentous development. That is poised to exert a profound impact on the region. While the practical implications of Iran’s membership are yet to be fully discerned. One thing remains unequivocal: the SCO is rapidly emerging as an increasingly pivotal player in the global security landscape.

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