OPEC should avoid unilateralism for positive co-op with allies: Zanganeh

July 1, 2019 - 19:40

TEHRAN – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Sunday that OPEC needs to keep its unity if it is pursuing cooperation between members and non-OPEC allies, Shana reported.

“Unilateralism is OPEC’s current major problem,” Zanganeh said upon arriving in Vienna, adding that Iran doesn’t have a problem with extending the output cuts for another six to nine months.

“Without unity among members of OPEC, it is meaningless to plan cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC countries,” he said.

The official noted that OPEC is a 14-member organization and every decision should be made based on consensus and not unilaterally.

“We are not here to execute the decisions that are made for us. I believe, for OPEC to survive, we must make our decisions within OPEC rather than receiving instructions from outside,” he said.

Zanganeh expressed support for the decision on extending the output cuts, saying “Iran supports cooperation with non-OPEC states, but as long as some members of OPEC are hostile against other members, like Iran, OPEC’s understandings with non-OPEC states are meaningless and there is no room for cooperation,” 

Iran has repeatedly criticized Saudi Arabia’s approach toward the Islamic Republic, saying Riyadh was too close to the United States.

“An organization, where two members strive to challenge the interests of other members, is doomed to dissolution and talks of OPEC-non-OPEC agreements would be meaningless,” Zanganeh said.

OPEC members and their allies outside the organization are meeting in Vienna to decide whether to extend the current output restrictions of 1.2 million barrels per day for another six to nine months.

OPEC and its allies are expected to extend oil supply cuts at least until the end of 2019 as Iran also joined top producers Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Russia in endorsing a policy aimed at propping up the price of crude amid a weakening global economy.

In May 2018, the United States exited a 2015 deal between Iran and world powers.

After withdrawing, Washington re-imposed sanctions and further tightened them from the start of May, ordering all countries and companies to halt all imports of Iranian oil or be banished from the global financial system.


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