Iran’s newly-appointed ambassador to China has met with Zhang Ming, secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), to explore ways to enhance economic cooperation with the organization’s eight member countries, IRNA reported Saturday (July 1) afternoon.

In a social media post on Saturday, Mohsen Bakhtiar reportedly said he had met with Zhang on June 30 head of the upcoming SCO’s virtual summit.

“During this meeting, we exchanged views on Iran’s active participation in the organization and the strengthening of economic cooperation with the eight member countries, including China,” Bakhtiar was cited as saying.

IRNA says Iran’s full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be officially announced during the upcoming summit on July 4.

In a phone call on June 30, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian reportedly told Zhang that Tehran would officially introduce its coordinator to the SCO’s secretariat in the coming week.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a Eurasian political, economic, international security and defense organization.  It is the world's largest regional organization in terms of geographic scope and population, covering approximately 60% of the area of Eurasia, 40% of the world population. Its combined GDP is around 20% of global GDP.

The SCO currently has eight full members -- China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, India, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Iran (September 17, 2021) and Belarus (September 16, 2022) are acceding members.

Besides, Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia are four observer states.

SCO’s dialogue partners include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Egypt, Nepal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Turkiye.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Maldives, Myanmar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are upcoming dialogue partners.

ACEAN, CIS, Turkmenistan and the United Nations are guest attendances.