Iran doesn’t intend to leave OPEC despite tensions: Zanganeh

June 9, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said the country doesn’t have any plans to leave OPEC despite the tensions that some fellow-members are creating in the organization, Shana reported on Saturday.

“Iran has no plans to leave OPEC...and regrets that some members of OPEC have turned this organization into a political forum for confronting two founding members of OPEC, meaning Iran and Venezuela,” Zanganeh said in an interview with Icana news agency.

“And two regional countries are showing enmity toward us in this organization. We are not their enemy but they are showing enmity toward us...and (they) use oil as a weapon against us in the global market and world.” Zanganeh added without naming the two countries.

Zanganeh further noted that the United States had made it increasingly difficult for Iran to sidestep sanctions but it had come up with new ways to circumvent them.

“We have thought about confronting America’s actions and constantly have found and will find new ways and anyway this is a war where we are standing strong and will not retreat.” he said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the official noted that no country can replace Iran in the oil market.

“The market is fragile and turbulent and the U.S. and its allies are trying to prevent the prices going up by false pretenses,” he said.

“Oil should be left out of politics. Oil is a necessary commodity for the growth of global economy, it is not a weapon. U.S. should leave oil out of its political games,” he added.

Earlier this month, in a letter Zanganeh opposed an OPEC proposal to reschedule the meeting which is set to take place on June 25-26 to early July. 

The United States reimposed sanctions on Tehran last year, and as a result, Iranian oil exports have decreased from their normal levels.

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly demanded that Saudi Arabia compensate for the drop in Iranian supplies by increasing its own production, a move that Iran has said undermines the proper functioning of OPEC.

OPEC is currently scheduled to meet on June 25, followed by talks with its allies led by Russia on June 26. However, Russia suggested moving the meeting to July 3-4 and Riyadh supports the request, sources within the organization told Reuters.

“I disagree with the proposed changes of the dates. I have already tight commitment in that period and, moreover, no reason was provided on the urgency of giving consideration to this date change,” Zanganeh wrote.

EF/MA

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