At the 2021 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, the Russian- and Chinese-led bloc announced the approval of Iran's longstanding bid for membership. Iran has viewed its involvement in the organization as a means of bolstering external legitimacy, fostering security-oriented regionalism, and promoting the transition toward the so-called multipolar world order. The SCO has served as a regime-preservation network by providing Iran with a source of solidarity against external pressure. Tehran's commitment to the normative order, sustained by the SCO's discourse of noninterference, sovereignty, and countering the “three evils”—terrorism, extremism, and separatism—has galvanized the organization's role as a common front against the imposition of liberal norms and challenges to regime security.
Middle East Policy is fully accessible through the Wiley Online Library
Click below to subscribe to the online or print edition of Middle East Policy and gain access to all journal content.