Iran is hopeful that the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) will expand its membership at the upcoming summit in Johannesburg. Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian revealed on Thursday that Iran seeks South Africa’s backing for its bid for accelerated membership. The summit, scheduled to begin on August 22, will gather foreign ministers of the bloc and aspiring members to finalize preparations.
Originally formed as a trade association of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, the bloc admitted South Africa as its fifth member in 2010. Further expansion of BRICS will be one of the key items on the agenda at the summit. Iran is one of the 23 countries that have formally applied for membership, along with Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Indonesia, and Egypt.
Mexico’s President, on the other hand, denied the rumors that his country was among the applicants, stating that Mexico’s policy is to strengthen its existing pact with the US and Canada.
There have been reports in Western media outlets suggesting that India and Brazil have reservations or conditions for expanding BRICS membership, but both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have denied these rumors as untrue and unfounded.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be attending the summit in person, but he is expected to participate via video link for the relevant discussions. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is already in South Africa.
Iran’s bid for accelerated membership in BRICS reflects its desire to strengthen its ties with the bloc and enhance its economic and political cooperation with its member states. With the uncertainty surrounding Iran’s relations with the Western powers, the country sees BRICS as an alternative platform for international engagement and collaboration.
Expanding BRICS membership can bring several benefits, including increased trade opportunities, enhanced diplomatic ties, and the potential for greater influence on global issues. It is also an opportunity for the existing members to showcase their commitment to multilateralism and a multipolar world order.
As the summit approaches, Iran continues its diplomatic efforts to gain support for its bid from South Africa and other member states. The outcome of the discussions at the summit will determine whether BRICS expands its membership and provides Iran with the accelerated membership it seeks.
In conclusion, Iran hopes to leverage the upcoming BRICS summit in Johannesburg to obtain accelerated membership in the bloc. The expansion of BRICS membership will be a key agenda item, and Iran is among the countries that have formally applied for membership. The outcome of the summit will have significant implications for Iran’s international engagement and its pursuit of economic and political cooperation with BRICS member states.