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Iran-BRICS relations

The Iranian foreign minister has left for Cape Town in South Africa to take part in the upcoming meeting of the foreign ministers of BRICS. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of participating countries. Prior to his departure, the top diplomat said active presence in international arenas is part of the Iranian administration’s balanced foreign policy doctrine. The BRICS group of nations consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Amir-Abdollahian said the group accounts for half of the world’s population and one-fifth of the global economy. It is seen as an alternative to Western economic and political influence. Iran is among more than a dozen countries that seek membership in the bloc. The BRICS foreign ministers will meet in Cape Town on Thursday. A day later, they will be joined by 15 counterparts from “Friends of BRICS” nations, African countries and the Global South. They will seek to finalize the agenda for the BRICS Summit in August.

North Korea satellite launch

North Korea says it will soon put another military surveillance satellite into orbit, a day after its first attempt at satellite launch failed. The announcement was made in a statement by Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. She said the North must make greater efforts to develop reconnaissance satellites, given the West’s fear of Pyongyang’s growing access to information means. Kim emphasized that her country will take any step necessary to defend its sovereign rights and interests. She also dismissed criticisms of Wednesday's test as self-contradiction, saying the US and other countries have launched thousands of satellites. On Thursday, North Korea published images of what it said was a new satellite-carrying rocket lifting off from a coastal launch pad.

More US arms in Ukraine

The United States has announced another military aid package for Ukraine, as the West keeps supplying Kiev with more weapons despite Russia’s warnings. The new military assistance comes as Ukraine is preparing for a counter-offensive against Russian forces. The 300 million dollar package includes munitions for air defense systems and tens of millions of rounds of artillery ammunition. It also contains anti-aircraft Stinger missiles. The new package will bring the sum of US security assistance to Ukraine to 37.6 billion dollars since the war began last year. Russia has warned time and again that continued supply of Western arms to Ukraine will only serve to prolong the war.

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