Gulf states form the core of the latest BRICS expansion
In a surprising expansion, three states from the Gulf region are now part of the BRICS group of states. The inclusion of Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE is not a watershed event, but follows an already familiar pattern: middle powers in the Gulf and elsewhere strengthen their international position in the context of global great power rivalries. While Riyadh and Abu Dhabi seek to diversify their foreign policy relations, the regime in Tehran is once again trying to break through its international isolation. All three Gulf states are hoping for economic stimulus as well as a gain in power. The traditional BRICS agenda of establishing an alternative global financial and monetary system could also gain new momentum with three important energy exporters as new members.