Iran says will pursue membership of Russia, China-led bloc

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Iran intends to pursue membership of a Chinese and Russian-led bloc that is meeting in Uzbekistan this week, President Ebrahim Raisi said on Wednesday as he prepared to head to the summit. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) – made up of China, Russia, India, Pakistan and four ex-Soviet Central Asian countries – was set up in 2001 as a political, economic and security organisation to rival Western institutions. The summit set for Thursday and Friday in the Uzbek city of Samarkand is the first entirely face-to-face leaders’ meeting since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. “Will sign…

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