Thu. May 19th, 2022

Iran became a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Friday as its new President Ebrahim Raisi blasted the United States and “unilateralism.”

Iran, which has faced heavy sanctions by the United States under former President Donald Trump, which have mostly been kept in place by President Joe Biden, accepted membership in the group, that includes China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

China and Russia are part of the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action meant to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities but was abandoned by the Trump administration in favor of sanctions to get Iran to return to the bargaining table, which never happened.

Iran and the United States had talked about returning to the deal but nothing has come out of those discussions.

“The world has entered a new era,” Raisi said, according to Aljazeera. “Hegemony and unilateralism are failing. The international balance is moving toward multilateralism and redistribution of power to the benefit of independent countries.”

Raisi said Iran wants to be an “active participant” in international organizations “based on justice, cooperation, mutual respect and the need to play a constructive role in facing international and regional challenges.”

Calling sanctions levied against his country by the United States and western allies “economic terrorism,” he said the penalties continue to be the greatest threat to regional stability.

“The [Shanghai Cooperation Organization] needs to design structures and mechanisms for a collective response to sanctions,” Raisi said. “It is important and necessary to design mechanisms for collective confrontation with unilateral sanctions in the framework of this organization.”

Shanghai Cooperation Organization was created in 2001 as a political, economic and security alliance led by China and Russia. Iran had observatory status for 15 years until being granted full status on Friday.

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