The Iranian foreign minister has underlined the country’s huge capacities, saying it will provide a reliable partner for the BRICS alliance. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks during the “Friends of BRICS” Foreign Ministers’ meeting in the South African city of Cape Town. The top Iranian diplomat said the country enjoys vast energy supplies, cheap transportation networks, trained human resources, considerable scientific achievements and extensive experience in international organizations. However, he said, most importantly, Iran harbors a strong resolve to help create a just global order. Amir-Abdollahian said Iran is one of the leading advocates of multilateralism and joining BRICS can be the next step in this regard. He said Iran was one of the first countries to declare its willingness to join BRICS, and the large number of applicants for this membership shows that it made the right choice.
Let’s turn our attention to the Russia-Ukraine war, where both sides have launched fresh assaults on each other’s territories. At least two civilians were killed in the shelling of Russia's Belgorod region. Russia also says it thwarted attacks on its border with Ukraine. Over the past few days, hundreds of residents have fled villages in the Belgorod oblast. Moscow has been accusing Kiev of carrying out terrorist acts to kill Russian civilians, allegations which Ukraine denies. Also on Friday, Russian forces attacked Kiev for a sixth day in a row. Ukraine said it had destroyed all 15 missiles and 21 drones. Falling debris left two people wounded. However, the Russian Defense Ministry said its forces had targeted and successful hit Ukraine's air defense systems protecting key military infrastructure.
China and the US remain on a collision course over the issue of Taiwan. Beijing has now blasted a trade deal Washington and Taipei struck on Thursday. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson says the deal is in breach of the one-China principle and shows the US is trying to undermine the principle. The deal was inked under a framework for talks between Washington and the self-ruled island, known as the US-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade. China has, time and again, warned the US against its growing ties with Taiwan, as it views the island as an inseparable part of its territory.