Thursday, 24 August 2023 6:03 PM [ Last Update: Thursday, 24 August 2023 6:03 PM ]
By Syed Zafar Mehdi
The BRICS alliance is not only viewed as a counterweight to G7, G20 and most other Western political and economic blocs but as a formidable future threat by the West, says a South African analyst.
Iqbal Jassat, a Johannesburg-based political analyst and executive member of the Media Review Network, in an interview with the Press TV website on Thursday, said the fact that dozens of countries have applied to join the powerful group shows their dismay with their West.
“The fact that so many countries from various regions of the world, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, have applied and six have been accepted for membership of the BRICS family, is an indication of the dismay and disappointment many of them have for the current Western-dominated so-called “rules-based order”,” he remarked.
The BRICS group of emerging economies on Thursday announced the induction of six new members, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the five existing members agreed to expand the bloc.
The other members invited to join the five-member group include Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Argentina, the UAE and Ethiopia. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are the current members.
South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, the host of this year’s summit, said the members agreed on “the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures of the BRICS expansion process.”
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), BRICS is expected to account for 32.1 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) this year, far more than G7 countries.
Jassat told the Press TV website that the expansion of BRICS is an “intimidating factor for unilateralism and the West is thus fearful of its growth.”
“One of the most devastating realizations by analysts and media commentators across Europe and America is the grudging acknowledgment that US influence is declining rapidly,” he stated.
On the de-dollarization drive that figured prominently on the agenda in Johannesburg this week, the South African writer and commentator said it is “now a reality.”
“Of course, the move to de-dollarize, which has been a major talking point among many countries prior to and leading up to the BRICS Summit, is now a reality,” he noted, adding that the US ability to “hold the world to ransom via its dollar-power will be severely impaired” now.
“Apart from the many positives to flow out of the BRICS Summit, perhaps the most significant pointer to how realignment of global politics is taking place is this fact,” Jassat said.
‘Iran’s induction affirmation of its influence’
On the participation of Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi in this year’s BRICS summit, Jassat said Iran’s principle-based foreign policy has earned it respect across the world.
“Iran’s revolutionary history and contemporary role as an ally of the world’s oppressed and marginalized people, as evident in its unflinching support for Palestine against the US-backed settler colonial regime Israel, has earned it respect among countries of the global-South and Latin America,” he told the Press TV website.
Iran’s accreditation as a member of BRICS ahead of other countries, Jassat affirmed, is “an affirmation of the huge influence it has acquired.”
“That President Ebrahim Raeisi received well-earned hospitality both from the hosts South Africa as well as leaders of all participating nations, is due to the honor and dignity he enjoys as a credible leader,” he hastened to add.
Jassat said Iran’s admission into the bloc of growing economies raises the potential to “dramatically increase the collective chunk of GDP that current members contribute.”
“I presume the criteria used to incorporate Iran into the BRICS family would have taken into account the country’s resilient economy despite facing a barrage of illegal US-imposed sanctions,” he stated, referring to the years of crippling sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.
“In the formal announcement made at the conclusion to make known Iran’s admission as a member of BRICS, it in effect contained a powerful hint: “We don’t regard sanctions on Iran to be binding on BRICS”,” he added.
Jassat also referred to the rapid transition in world order and the waning US influence.
“There cannot be any doubt that the US-led domination of the global order in all its manifestations is decaying if not dead already. The transition to a new global realignment of power and prestige is in the hands of BRICS member states,” he told the Press TV website.
“The challenge it poses to the West is expected to be undermined by the dirty tricks America, NATO and allies, particularly London and Paris, are well known for.”
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