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Iran Asks to Join BRICS

© Sputnik / Alexei Danichev / Go to the mediabankBRICS
BRICS - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.06.2022
The Islamic Republic of Iran has applied to join BRICS, a loose group of five industrializing non-European nations, after being invited to its summit in China last week.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh revealed the move at a Monday press conference, explaining that Iran joining BRICS would result in “added values” for all parties, according to Tasnim News Agency.
“Iran’s unique geographical position and its capacities in the fields of energy, transit, and trade have caused the BRICS members to pay special attention to Iran, as a golden route to connect the East to the West,” Iran’s state owned Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) argued on Sunday.
“If Iran and other powerful countries join the grouping, it can be even stronger and challenge Western policies,” IRNA added.
The community, formed by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) in 2009, have worked to coordinate multilateral economic relationships that are rarely focused in Europe, the traditional center of world capitalism. Together, they account for 26.7% of the world’s land surface area, 41.5% of the world’s population, and 23.2% of the total productive potential of humanity.
The 14th BRICS summit was remotely hosted by China on June 24 and saw Beijing invite the leaders of 13 other developing nations to attend, including Iran and Algeria, Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Malaysia and Thailand.
Speaking at the start of the summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the world to “reject hegemony, bullying and division,” denouncing the recent invitations extended to South Korea and Japan to attend the NATO summit in Madrid later this week.
“Some countries attempt to expand military alliances to seek absolute security, stoke bloc-based confrontation by coercing other countries into picking sides, and pursue unilateral dominance at the expense of others’ rights and interests,” Xi said, referring to the United States and NATO. “If such dangerous trends are allowed to continue, the world will witness even more turbulence and insecurity.”
At the summit, the five BRICS nations vowed to widen its Shanghai-based New Development Bank (NDB), following the successful admission of Bangladesh, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Uruguay. The bank can serve as an alternative to Western-based development banks, which are often accused of facilitating wealth extraction from the Third World to the world’s richest nations.
Last year, Iran’s application was accepted to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), an Asian trade and political bloc that includes three of the five BRICS members and has more explicit goals than BRICS for regional economic integration.
Iran’s move also comes as negotiations have stalled with the European Union to restart the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a 2015 deal that lowered US economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Tehran accepting strict limitations on the quality and quantity of uranium it could refine. The US unilaterally pulled out of the deal in 2018, accusing Iran of secretly pursuing a nuclear weapon, but talks to restart the deal began last year after US President Joe Biden took office.
“A final deal is within reach if other parties have the will to do so,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian tweeted on Saturday, following a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. “Iran is resolute on reaching a good, strong & durable deal.”
Talks are reportedly set to begin again later this week, following a several-month hiatus. However, they will reportedly be held in Qatar, an Arab country with good relations with both Washington and Tehran. Politico reported on Monday that Rob Malley, the US special representative for Iran, was slated to arrive in Doha later that day.
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