Iran to join economic bloc backed by China, Russia

Iran revealed on Monday that President Ebrahim Raisi will take part in the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The security and economic cooperation framework is led by China and Russia. Iran said it is set to sign a memorandum to join.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to attend the two-day talks in Uzbekistan, starting on Thursday.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said Iran can contribute to the group in areas such as trade and energy.

Iran intends to join the bloc while facing US economic sanctions. The US has imposed the trade restrictions against Iran over the country's development of nuclear technology.

An economic analyst in Iran says such US pressure is pushing the country closer to Russia and China. He said it is natural from a strategic perspective for those countries to seek closer ties to each other.