New Delhi: With Iran keen to get into BRICS, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, August 18, discussed the potential expansion of the bloc of emerging economies when its summit is held in South Africa next week.
According to an Indian government press release, the two leaders had a phone call during which they “discussed cooperation at multilateral forums including expansion of BRICS and looked forward to their meeting on the margins of forthcoming BRICS summit in South Africa”.
There are around 19 countries which have applied to join BRICS, but Iran claims to be at the front of the queue. India is a founding member of the five-nation bloc.
The Iranian president was confirmed to visit India for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit last month, but it was turned into a virtual conference only a couple of days ahead of the meeting. The two leaders will now be meeting in Johannesburg on the sidelines of the BRICS summit.
The Indian readout of the call also said that two leaders talked about Chabahar port, where both sides are close to signing an agreement to reach its full potential.
The Iranian state-run news agency IRNA reported that Modi also expressed his sympathy for the victims of the terror attack on pilgrims at the Shah-e-Cheragh shrine in Shiraz on August 13. The Islamic State, also known as Da’esh, had claimed responsibility for the terror attack, which left two dead and eight injured.