Argentina, Iran apply to join BRICS
Iran, which holds the world's second largest gas reserves, has applied to join the BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa that Beijing and Moscow cast as a powerful emerging market alternative to the West.
Iran's membership in the BRICS group "would result in added values for both sides", Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
Russia said Argentina had also applied to join.
"While the White House was thinking about what else to turn off in the world, ban or spoil, Argentina and Iran applied to join the BRICS," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
China has by far the largest economy in the BRICS grouping, accounting for more than 70 percent of the group's collective $27.5 trillion economic might. India accounts for about 13 percent, with Russia and Brazil each accounting for about 7 percent, according to IMF data.
BRICS account for more than 40 percent of the world's population and about 26 percent of the global economy.