- Iran seeks an “accelerated” BRICS membership, appealing directly to South Africa for support.
- An expansion of the BRICS bloc and discussions on launching a joint currency are expected at the upcoming summit.
South Africa’s Strategic Position in BRICS Expansion
The realm of international cooperation is about to witness a paradigm shift as Iran expresses its earnest interest in joining the BRICS coalition—a group currently comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The anticipated BRICS summit scheduled from August 22 to 24 in Johannesburg is not just another meeting, but a potential turning point in the alliance’s evolution.
Iran’s Appeal and BRICS’ Response
Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, has recently vocalized his nation’s aspirations. During a media briefing alongside South Africa’s foreign minister Naledi Pandor in Pretoria, Abdollahian expressed Iran’s eagerness to expedite its membership application. “We believe that our membership in BRICS will strengthen multilateralism,” he emphasized, signaling Iran’s intent to foster deeper relations with the BRICS nations.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to invite Iran to the summit, which received unanimous backing from other BRICS leaders, indicates a willingness to engage and possibly expand the alliance. Furthermore, the Tehran meeting earlier this week with BRICS representatives underscores the significance of Iran’s membership deliberations.
However, Pandor’s clarifications are essential in this context. Reacting to widespread speculations, she confirmed that inviting Iran and others to the summit doesn’t insinuate forming an “anti-West” bloc. Notably, the political dynamics are intricate, given Iran’s strained diplomatic ties with the U.S., which imposed sanctions on the Middle Eastern nation.
Economic Discussions on the Horizon
The summit won’t solely focus on membership. High on the agenda are economic topics, chiefly the introduction of a joint currency to fortify trade within the bloc. Such a currency could shield BRICS nations from economic upheavals linked to U.S. interest rates and the dollar’s use as a sanctions tool.
Blockchain’s role in this proposed currency could be pivotal. Blockchain, with its decentralized, transparent, and tamper-proof nature, can offer a robust framework for such a currency, ensuring its resilience against potential external economic shocks. The feasibility of this blockchain-backed currency, as confirmed by BRICS officials including Pandor, will be a primary discussion point during the meeting.
In the matrix of international politics and economic strategies, South Africa emerges as a potential kingpin. While it grapples with internal challenges and perceptions, its position within BRICS, particularly in the context of this summit, is undeniably crucial.