Unveiling Iran’s BRICS Ambitions: Hope Amid Uncertainty
In the midst of the Islamic Republic's international isolation, a select few with strong ties to the regime express hope about Iran's recent inclusion in BRICS.
However, experts in Tehran are questioning the true impact of this membership, particularly its unclear economic implications that Iranian officials have yet to explain.
President Ebrahim Raisi’s perplexing speech upon returning from South Africa has stirred discussion on social media, with its meaning proving elusive even to Persian speakers.
Nour News, linked to Iran’s Supreme Council of National Security, offers a sophisticated explanation: “Six new members from America, Asia, and Africa have joined BRICS. This expansion means 45 percent of the global population and over 30 percent of the world’s gross product are part of this alliance. It signifies a shift from geopolitics to geoeconomic cooperation.”
Yet, the significance for Iran remains uncertain due to ongoing US sanctions, despite the prominence of India and China in the numbers.
Kourosh Ahmadi, a former Iranian UN diplomat, warns against unreal expectations: “BRICS won’t aid us financially amid US sanctions. Iranian officials mustn’t be deluded by notions of joining BRICS or the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.”
Ahmadi emphasizes that the importance of BRICS grew after disputes, especially between India and China. Some nations invited to the South Africa summit declined membership.
Tensions between Chinese and Indian leaders were evident. In contrast, though granted membership, Saudi Arabia hesitates to align with China or the US, differing from Iran’s urgency.
Ahmadi doubts more members will raise BRICS’ significance and laughs off notions that BRICS challenges the US dollar’s global dominance.
Entekhab suggests Iran’s BRICS benefits hinge on resolving negotiations with the US and Europe over the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA). Ahmadi defines BRICS as a “dialogue forum,” similar to the Non-Aligned Movement, highlighting its lack of a secretariat and charter.
Ahmadi stresses that without addressing the nuclear issue and complying with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) terms, BRICS or Shanghai membership won’t greatly help Iran.
He concludes that while the government can promote itself, informed individuals can choose to accept or dismiss these claims.