Iran’s Larijani says Saudi Arabia, UAE unable to boost oil output

May 4, 2019

TEHRAN – Ali Larijani, the speaker of the Iranian parliament (Majlis), believes that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cannot increase their oil production in absence of Iran despite what they claim.

“Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates don’t have the capacity to sell more oil. If they had had the capacity, they would have used it before,” he said during a conference in Tehran on Saturday.

In its most recent measure, following Washington’s withdrawal from JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), U.S. officials announced that they will not issue any further waivers for countries who want to import Iranian oil, meaning that every state which buys Iranian oil is going to be punished by the U.S. Meanwhile, U.S. allies in the region, namely Saudi Arabia and the UAE have expressed readiness to increase their oil export to cover up the slump in the global supply.

“This psychological war will work for a few days but after that, oil shortage in the market will start and problems will face the oil market in the following weeks,” Larijani noted.

On May 2, Bloomberg reported that oil refiners in Asia are asking Saudi Arabia for more crude as the world’s top consuming region deals with supply disruptions from Iran to Venezuela, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Customers are seeking additional cargoes for loading in June and July from OPEC’s biggest producer, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. The requests are for supplies on top of what the refiners are due as part of term contracts with state-run Saudi Aramco, they said.

In the meantime, Iran’s oil minister has warned that OPEC is “likely to collapse” because some members of the 14-nation group are working against their fellow producers.

The comment by Bijan Zanganeh appears to be a thinly veiled reference to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. As the Trump administration tightened energy sanctions against Iran on Thursday, the White House says the Saudis and Emiratis will work with the U.S. to offset the anticipated drop in Iranian oil supplies.

In response to U.S. sanctions, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that his country will continue to sell oil in different ways, adding that there are “six other ways” to sell oil of which Washington is unaware.

SP/PAA

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