July 9, 2023

Iran’s entry into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a new threat on the horizon

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by Farhad Rezaei, Senior Research Fellow

The SCO’s significance is growing in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the positions of Russia and China within the organization.

As Iran formally integrates into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization(SCO), a growing concern is spreading across the Western world, primarily due to the multifaceted implications of Iran’s growing military ties with Russia and China. The issue becomes even more troubling with the scheduled ending of UN restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile testing and transfers this coming October.

This will grant Iran a freer hand to openly trade arms with Russia and China, and other SCO countries, which results in Iran’s expanding its influence and aggression in the region. The West needs to carefully consider the repercussions of this significant strategic development.

Iran’s admission to the SCO represents a significant foreign policy achievement for the Islamic Republic. This is particularly noteworthy as it is the first time the regime has joined a regional pact since its establishment in 1979.