Iran applies to join Brics group of emerging countries

Influential economic bloc is made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa

Chinese President Xi Jinping appears on a screen with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he hosts the 14th Brics Summit via video link from Beijing on June 23. Iran has applied to join Brics, its foreign ministry said. Xinhua News Agency/AP
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Iran has submitted an application to join the Brics group of emerging economies, an Iranian official said on Monday.

The influential bloc is currently made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Iran's membership in the group "would result in added values for both sides," a representative from the country's Foreign Ministry said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Argentina had also applied to join the group, although Argentinian officials did not confirm the application when approached by Reuters.

Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez, who is currently in Europe, has in recent days reiterated his desire for Argentina to join Brics.

"While the White House was thinking about what else to turn off in the world, ban or spoil, Argentina and Iran applied to join the Brics," Ms Zakharova wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Russia has long been pushing to forge closer ties with Asia, South America and the Middle East, but it has intensified its efforts recently to weather sanctions imposed by Europe, the US and other countries over its invasion on Ukraine.

On Monday, the US and other Western nations pledged unwavering support for Ukraine after 28 civilians were killed in several Russian attacks, including a missile strike on a crowded shopping centre in Ukraine.

Russia denies aiming at civilians in what it calls is a "special military operation" to disarm Ukraine and "protect it from fascists". Kyiv and its allies in the West say the war is an unprovoked act of aggression.

Updated: June 28, 2022, 4:00 AM