The Iran Project – The cooperation deal signed between Iran and South Africa ahead of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg highlights Iran’s efforts to join the influential group of developing economies.
Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi is set to attend the summit and is pitching Iran’s bid for membership to South Africa, as the country chairs the group and will host the summit. The summit, slated for August 24, would bring together heads of state from BRICS member countries namely Russia, China, India, South Africa, and Brazil as well as a number of countries, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, wishing to join the bloc
The two countries signed a cooperation agreement and discussed various regional issues such as Palestine, Ukraine, Sudan, Yemen, and Afghanistan.
On August 10, during the first session of the South Africa-Iran Joint Commission of Cooperation held in Pretoria, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and his South African counterpart Naledi Pandor signed a document on the Joint Commission of Cooperation between the two countries.
During the visit, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian refuted allegations of Iran’s involvement in supplying drones to Russia for use in the Ukraine war. The ministers emphasized the need for comprehensive political and economic cooperation between Iran and South Africa.
The signing of the cooperation agreement and discussions on regional issues demonstrate Iran’s active engagement in international affairs and its desire to strengthen ties with influential countries like South Africa. Tehran‘s bid for membership in BRICS reflects its aspirations to be recognized as a major player in the global economy, as well.
Meanwhile, Iran’s expansion of relations with South Africa, an emerging power, besides strengthening South-South cooperation, can help reduce Western pressures.
The world today is witnessing the creation of a bloc of countries that have experienced high economic growth and turned into new economic powerhouses.
China in Southeast Asia, India in South Asia, Russia in Eastern Europe, Brazil in Latin America and South Africa in the African continent initially began to play a role in their peripheral regions, but they have gradually sought to engage in extra-regional collaborations.
They have formed new alliances such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, IBSA Group of India, Brazil and South Africa and BRICS in order to make their mark in the world order and offer an alternative force to reckon with.
By Fatemeh Khoshroo