Iran joins SCO, the China-founded regional security grouping

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Iran joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, another step toward ending its global isolation as it builds warmer ties with Russia and China.

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Iran’s membership was announced by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he headlined the SCO leaders’ summit held virtually Tuesday.

The meeting was the first time China’s President Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin shared a platform since last month’s attempted mutiny by Wagner mercenaries.

“New countries joining the group underlines the importance of the group,” Modi said. Regional security, economy, food security, climate change and the situation in Afghanistan were on the summit’s agenda, the Indian leader said in his opening remarks.

Iran is gradually emerging from diplomatic isolation, forging a key military alliance with Russia from which it’s seeking air defenses, restoring diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia and pushing its allies to fire missiles at Israel.

It is also enriching more and more uranium, including a small amount almost to weapons grade — while denying any plans for making a bomb.

Its membership of the Chinese-founded SCO — a regional security grouping — is further indication that countries are willing to engage with it.

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