BRICS is an acronym for the powerful grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. When South Africa joined BRIC economic bloc in 2010, it became as BRICS. As suggested by some, if Iran would join this group of rapidly growing economies the BRICS will become BRIICS, with the accentuation not only in the name but greater potentials for this union. There are good reasons to believe that with the inclusion of Iran, the position of the BRICS in the world’s politics would be enhanced.

Presently the BRICS represent a group of five countries with different level of power, but one common goal to have a more equitable international system. Each of the BRICS members is major player in a regional, political/economic context; thus, the group enjoys a global outreach in Eurasia, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The composition of the group is striking too.  Two among the BRICS, Russia and China are permanent members at the United Nations Security Council with the right of veto. Three countries in this group, Russia, China, and India, possess nuclear weapons. The two other countries, South Africa and Brazil, are known as nuclear capable countries while both are members of the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

In this regard, Iran has great potentials to offer as a new member in the BRICS. Besides its major geopolitical clout, Iran has a growing and expanding economy despite the dreadful sanctions that the West has imposed upon it; and in fact this demonstrates how resolute this country is to become one of the leading economies in the future. Iran like South Africa and Brazil has achieved nuclear capability but remains a fateful member of the NPT. It has renounced in every occasion all weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons.  As an influential power in the volatile regions surrounding it in the Middle East and West Asia, Iran has vowed for peaceful solutions to the crises that rages in its regional neighborhood, be it in Bahrain or Syria.

 As emphasized in the declaration and action plan of its fifth summit in Durban, South Africa (March26- 27, 2013), the BRICS in contrast to some other Western centric organizations vies to have: 'an inclusive approach of shared solidarity and cooperation towards all nations and peoples.'   That approach, ostensibly derives from a distinct urge for a new world order when BRICS leaders point to the fact that: ' The prevailing global governance architecture is regulated by institutions which were conceived in circumstances when the international landscape in all its aspects was characterized by very different challenges and opportunities.' The summit also reiterated its concerns about the slow pace of the reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and expressed hope that the next Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) should be a representative of a developing country.

            As a first step to shed away with the prevailing financial system at the World Bank and the IMF, mostly dominated by the United States and its allies, the Summit decided to establish a New Development Bank by member states for an effective financing infrastructure with substantial and sufficient contribution. It has been suggested that the initial investment would be 50 billion dollars that will be equally shared by the five member states of BRICS.  Importantly, at the sideline of the summit a currency swap agreement between China and Brazil was signed. With that agreement, annually 30 billion dollars of their bilateral trade could be conducted in Yuan or Real.

It is worth mentioning that the swap deals with China and other major world trading nations like India was spearheaded by Iran after the United States and its allies imposed unilateral monetary and financial sanctions against Iran in contrast to the free market norms that they advocate, thus encouraging Iran and others to abandon Dollar and Euro in their foreign trade. This will become even more serious as a challenge to the dominance of the Dollar in world’s financial markets once Yuan becomes fully convertible in foreign exchange markets.

Although the initial focus of the BRICS has been on economic/financial matters but given the interconnectivity of international politics and economic matters, especially along with the need for reform at the United Nations, the BRICS summit reaffirmed in its declaration: ' the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, so that it can be more responsive to global challenges.'

In addressing major international issues and specifically on Iran's nuclear program, the summit expressed its concerns; 'about threats of military action as well as unilateral sanctions.' It further emphasized that: 'there is no alternative to a negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. We recognize Iran's right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy consistent with its international obligations, and support resolution of the issues involved through political and diplomatic means and dialogue, including between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran and in accordance with the provisions of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and consistent with Iran's obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).' Regarding the Syrian crisis, the BRICS leaders expressed backing for a 'Syrian-led' transitional process through a 'broad national dialogue' that would respect the 'Syrian independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty.'

In sum, it seems that BRICSs' ultimate goal is to find solutions for the much delayed changes in international system. However, the level of its success depends on variety of factors, mainly related to the challenges that exist for a fundamental change in the international order. The initial approach by the BRICS, however, seems to be very much appealing to many countries like Iran which have been yearning for a more equitable system governing the world politics.

In Iran the advocates of the 'Look to the East ' policy will find many common interests with the BIRCS. The Western approach toward Iran's nuclear file and its unilateral sanctions are increasingly alienating the Iranians from the West and pushing it toward the ' East '. Although some might express reservations regarding the membership of Iran in the BRICS, citing the present standoff between the West and Iran over its nuclear program, but one can also argue that the inclusion of Iran in the group would alleviate the tension, created largely by biased Western policies. Iran's constructive role in the BRICS could undoubtedly contribute to the goals for the establishment of a fairer international order.