Iran looks east after China-led bloc OKs entry

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Iran on Saturday hailed its acceptance into a China and Russia-led bloc, an eastward turn it sees as opening access to major world markets and a counter to crippling Western sanctions. Conservative and reformist newspapers showed rare unity in welcoming the outcome of a conference in Dushanbe on Friday at which members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation endorsed Iran’s future membership in the bloc. The eight-member group, created two decades ago and which also includes India, promotes itself as an antidote to Western dominance. The bloc’s decision on Iran comes with negotiations at a st…

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