Despite all the US efforts to isolate Iran in the international arena, the Islamic Republic is set to join BRICS group this coming January to further increase its role in the global economy and politics.
This Thursday, the president of the BRICS Cyril Ramaphosa announced in a statement during the annual summit of the group in South Africa’s Johannesburg that Iran was officially invited to join the BRICS economic group, a bloc of the world greatest economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
A senior adviser to Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisis on Thursday welcomed the country’s admission to the grouping. “Permanent membership in the group of global emerging economies is considered a historic development and a strategic success for the foreign policy of the Islamic republic,” Mohammad Jamshidi wrote on Twitter.
Iran’s joining the BRICS bloc, a big disappointment for US and its allies
While the West, especially including United States and Israel, has restlessly been trying to isolate Iran by imposing heavy sanctions and cutting diplomatic ties with the Persian Gulf country, Tehran’s membership to the Brics can be the beginning of the end of hopes for turning the Islamic Republic into a pariah state.
Echoing the idea of many political experts, New York Times wrote in an article this Thursday evening that although joining BRICS is not expected to help “solve its formidable economic problems’”, the primary benefit of joining the group, would be “to prove that Tehran has powerful friends and cannot remain isolated”.
“Part of the government’s message, both to external and internal audiences, is that they are not going anywhere and they have the validation of some major powers in the world,” said Henry Rome, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank.
Although joining BRICS is not expected to help solve Iran’s formidable economic problems, the primary benefit of joining the group, experts say, would be to prove that Tehran has powerful friends. That could give it leverage in any further negotiations with the United States.
Delivering his speech in Johannesburg on Thursday night, Raisi noted that Iran’s inclusion in the group will be associated with “historic” benefits and “an opportunity to stand against the US desire to influence the world according to its own interests”. Raisi also said that “Iran decisively backs up BRICS’ efforts toward de-dollarization … using national currencies and strengthening the bloc’s mechanisms for payment and financial interactions”.
Who else was invited to join the BRICS bloc?
In addition to Iran, other countries including Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were invited to join the bloc. “The membership will take effect from the first of January, 2024,” Ramaphosa said in his statement on Thursday. “The expansion of the BRICS bloc is a new starting point for the group’s cooperation. It will bring new vigor to the BRICS cooperation mechanism and further strengthen the force for world peace and development,” he also explained.
The BRICS summit is indeed the largest gathering of Global South government in recent years. Guests who were invited to the summit included the leaders of 54 African countries. Russian President Vladimir Putin also participated in the event via video link, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was onsite representing Russia in person.
In this 2023 summit, “we agreed on mechanisms for considering new members and calling for the use of local currencies to facilitate trade,” Lavrov noted in his speech at the summit.
Welcoming the decision to offer full membership to Saudi Arabia along with five other countries, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said at the summit that “we look forward to develop this cooperation to create new developmental and economic opportunities and elevate our relationship to the aspired level”.