Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Iran, Saudi Arabia Among 6 Nations Set to Join China and Russia in Growing Economic Bloc
By admin
Published 9 months ago on
August 24, 2023

Share

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

JOHANNESBURG — Iran and Saudi Arabia were among six countries set to join Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in the BRICS economic bloc from next year, the bloc announced Thursday, a move that will likely throw more scrutiny on Beijing’s political influence in the Persian Gulf.

The United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Egypt and Ethiopia are also set to become new members of BRICS from 2024.

BRICS was set up in 2009 as a group of emerging market economies and has become one of the leading voices for more representation of the developing world and the Global South in world affairs.

It currently represents around 40% of the world’s population and more than a quarter of the world’s GDP, although that is set to increase with the new members, which include three of the world’s biggest oil producers in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran.

Recently, questions have been raised over if BRICS is taking an anti-West turn under the influence of China and Russia amid Beijing’s deteriorating relationship with the United States and Russia’s stand-off with the West over the war in Ukraine.

Mohammad Jamshidi, the political deputy of Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, called the decision to add his country “a historic move.”

“A strategic victory for Iran’s foreign policy,” Jamshidi wrote on X, the website formerly known as Twitter. “Felicitations to the Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution and great nation of Iran.”

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, whose country presently chairs BRICS, made the announcement on the six new members on the final day of the bloc’s summit in the financial district of Sandton in Johannesburg.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are attending the summit and were present alongside Ramaphosa for the announcement.

“This membership expansion is historic,” Xi said. “It shows the determination of BRICS countries for unity and development.”

“Over the years, China has stood in solidarity with developing countries through thick and thin.”

Putin Stays Home Due to Arrest Warrant

Russian President Vladimir Putin did not travel to the summit after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for him in March for the abduction of children from Ukraine. He has participated in the summit virtually, while Russia was represented at the announcement in Johannesburg by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

While Saudi Arabia had been touted as a likely new member if the five current BRICS members reached a consensus on expansion, Iran’s inclusion had been viewed as possibly politically problematic. China and Russia were pushing for expansion, but Brazil, India and South Africa, which have strong bilateral ties with the U.S., only gave their approval more recently.

The current members agreed on the final details of expansion after two days of talks in Johannesburg, although Ramaphosa said the idea had been worked on for over a year.

The BRICS leaders began their talks in Johannesburg on Tuesday night and were locked in discussions most of the day Wednesday, thrashing out the final details. BRICS is a consensus-based organization and all members have to agree on policies.

It’s the second time that BRICS has decided to expand. The bloc was formed in 2009 by Brazil, Russia, India and China. South Africa was added in 2010.

In an online message, United Arab Emirates leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan welcomed the BRICS announcement and said his nation would be joining an “important group.”

“We look forward to a continued commitment of cooperation for the prosperity, dignity and benefit of all nations and people around the world,” Sheikh Mohammed said on X.

Until recently, the inclusion of Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates together in the same economic or political organization would have been unthinkable, as tensions escalated following the collapse of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal and a series of attacks attributed to the country since.

But as the coronavirus pandemic receded, the UAE became the first to reengage diplomatically with Iran, following missile attacks on Abu Dhabi claimed by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels of Yemen.

In March, Saudi Arabia and Iran announced they had reached a separate détente with Chinese mediation. China has sought closer relations with all three nations, particularly Iran, from which it has imported oil since the collapse of the nuclear deal.

Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE also have maintained relations with Russia amid Moscow’s war on Ukraine, much to the chagrin of Washington, which long has provided security guarantees for the major oil-producing nations.

Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi said in a statement that his country would cooperate and coordinate with the rest of the members to achieve the bloc’s aims in economic cooperation, and to “raise the voice of the Global South.”

The news was also a major boost for Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country and one of the fastest-growing economies on the continent, as its government works to reengage with many global partners and financial institutions after a devastating two-year conflict in the country’s Tigray region ended last year.

The war caused billions of dollars of damage and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, under pressure from the U.S. and European Union, has turned to other partners like China, Russia and Gulf nations for support.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Paul McCartney Becomes Britain’s First Billionaire Musician

DON'T MISS

California Cracked Down After a Crash Killed 13 Farmworkers. Why Are Workers Still Dying on the Road?

DON'T MISS

These Rare Chainsaws Are Worth Big Bucks to Collectors

DON'T MISS

Jewish Lobby Presses California Lawmakers to Combat Antisemitism

DON'T MISS

Opinion: How Urban Renewal Ruined Everything

DON'T MISS

California Wine Squeezed Dry: Insiders Say It’s Time to Pull up Acreage

DON'T MISS

Alabama Mercedes Employees Overwhelmingly Vote Against Joining Union, Slowing UAW Effort in South

DON'T MISS

Stock Market Today: Dow Finishes Above 40,000 to Cap Wall Street’s Latest Winning Week

DON'T MISS

Where Do State Lawmakers Stand on War in Gaza, Campus Protests?

DON'T MISS

High-Speed Rail Now Working to Extend Valley Line to 171 Miles

UP NEXT

Israel Denies Genocide Charges, Asserts Efforts to Protect Gaza Civilians

UP NEXT

Massive Ukrainian Drone Attack on Crimea Causes Power Cutoffs in Sevastopol

UP NEXT

Report: Child Migrant Arrivals in Italian City Double

UP NEXT

Palestinian Voices Echo Painful Gaza War History as Nakba is Remembered

UP NEXT

Rep. Matt Gaetz Echoes Proud Boys’ Language at Trump’s Court Appearance

UP NEXT

Ukraine Says It Has Checked Russia’s Offensive in a Key Town, But Moscow Says It Will Keep Pushing

UP NEXT

Slovak Authorities Charge ‘Lone Wolf’ in Assassination Attempt on Prime Minister

UP NEXT

US Military Says Gaza Pier Project is Complete and Aid Will Soon Flow as Israel-Hamas War Rages

UP NEXT

UN’s Top Court Opens Hearings on the Israeli Military’s Incursion into Rafah

UP NEXT

The US Is Wrapping up a Pier to Bring Aid to Gaza by Sea. But Danger and Uncertainty Lie Ahead

Jewish Lobby Presses California Lawmakers to Combat Antisemitism

2 days ago

Opinion: How Urban Renewal Ruined Everything

2 days ago

California Wine Squeezed Dry: Insiders Say It’s Time to Pull up Acreage

2 days ago

Alabama Mercedes Employees Overwhelmingly Vote Against Joining Union, Slowing UAW Effort in South

2 days ago

Stock Market Today: Dow Finishes Above 40,000 to Cap Wall Street’s Latest Winning Week

2 days ago

Where Do State Lawmakers Stand on War in Gaza, Campus Protests?

2 days ago

High-Speed Rail Now Working to Extend Valley Line to 171 Miles

2 days ago

Beautify Fresno Combines Dog Adoption, Litter Removal in Unique Saturday Event

2 days ago

Bulldogs’ Gilmore Named MW Softball Pitcher of the Year

2 days ago

The Latest | Dozens of Israeli Protesters Attack a Truck in an Apparent Effort to Block Gaza Aid

2 days ago

Paul McCartney Becomes Britain’s First Billionaire Musician

LONDON — Paul McCartney is a billionaire Beatle. According to figures released Friday, the former member of the Fab Four is the first Britis...

1 day ago

1 day ago

Paul McCartney Becomes Britain’s First Billionaire Musician

1 day ago

California Cracked Down After a Crash Killed 13 Farmworkers. Why Are Workers Still Dying on the Road?

1 day ago

These Rare Chainsaws Are Worth Big Bucks to Collectors

2 days ago

Jewish Lobby Presses California Lawmakers to Combat Antisemitism

2 days ago

Opinion: How Urban Renewal Ruined Everything

2 days ago

California Wine Squeezed Dry: Insiders Say It’s Time to Pull up Acreage

2 days ago

Alabama Mercedes Employees Overwhelmingly Vote Against Joining Union, Slowing UAW Effort in South

2 days ago

Stock Market Today: Dow Finishes Above 40,000 to Cap Wall Street’s Latest Winning Week

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend