MOSCOW, September 15 (RAPSI) — The Islamic Republic of Iran changed its observer status to full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO); the respective document was signed on Wednesday evening, the Iranian news agency IRNA reports.

The memorandum was signed by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and the SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming.

All documents related to the completion of the procedure for registration of full membership of Iran have already been approved at the level of the country's government and submitted to the national parliament to complete the legal formalities, IRNA quotes the statement of the Foreign Minister.

The SCO Secretary General, in turn, noted that the signing of the memorandum was an "important milestone" for all interested parties and congratulated Iran and the Organization's member states on the appearance of a new member in their ranks.

Iran is a powerful, stable and reliable country in the region, its entry into the SCO is important for the Organization and its development as a whole, Zhang Ming noted.

The SCO is an international organization founded in 2001 by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan joined the organization in 2016.

Iran received the status of an observer state in the SCO in 2005 and began the procedure for joining the Organization in 2021.