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China Says Iran Accepted As New Bank Founding Member

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with guests of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in October.

Chinese media says Iran has been accepted as a founding member of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

State news agency Xinhua said on April 7 the bank's existing 26 members -- including China, Britain, France, Germany, India, Switzerland, and Italy -- also agreed to include the United Arab Emirates as a founding member.

Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are also among the bank's founding members.

Applications from Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia to join the bank have not yet been ruled on.

The United States is not expected to join the AIIB.

The AIIB is viewed as a possible rival to established institutions like the World Bank and Asian Investment Bank, which are dominated by the United States and Japan.

But World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim said on April 7 that he welcomes the AIIB as a "major new player" in the development world.

Based on reporting Reuters and Xinhua