TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa Baleka Mbete said her country supports Iran’s bid to join the BRICS group, which currently includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Larijani, in Tehran on Saturday, Mbete pointed to the South African president’s recent trip to Tehran and said the issue of Iran’s membership in the BRICS was raised during the visit.

The National Assembly of South Africa supports Iran’s membership because the country can play a positive role in the further development of the BRICS countries, she stated.

Taken together, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, cover 40 percent of the world’s population and more than 25 percent of the world’s land.

Economists believe these countries are emerging superstars that will most likely dominate the global economy.

Elsewhere in her remarks, Mbete said South Africa is aware that Iran is a vast country with a population of 80 million and that Iran has had significant achievements in education, adding that her country is willing to expand relations with Iran in all areas.

The remarks come against the backdrop of a new wave of interest in ties with Iran after Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) on July 14, 2015 reached a conclusion over the text of a comprehensive 159-page deal on Tehran’s nuclear program and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.     

The comprehensive nuclear deal, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), terminated all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran.