176th OPEC meeting wraps up, Iran exempted from new cuts

July 2, 2019 - 20:21

TEHRAN - The 176th meeting of the Conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) which was held in Vienna, Austria, came to conclusion on Monday, IRNA reported.

At the end of the meeting, OPEC members agreed to extend the supply cuts deal for another 9 months up until March 2020 and like the previous agreements, Iran was once again exempted from the cuts.

 ‘OPEC+ charter doesn’t mean a new OPEC’

Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting on Monday, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the gathering, saying that “We achieved what we were seeking from this meeting. Iran was once again exempted from the cuts.”

He mentioned the charter for cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC which was approved in the meeting, saying that this charter has no impact on OPEC's operational mechanisms and decisions.

Zanganeh further noted that Iran demanded some amendments in the charter which were all applied.

“The thing is that the decisions of this set [OPEC+] are not binding, and there are no obligations for OPEC members to comply, moreover, the members are allowed to bring the matters to their governments and authorities if necessary,” he added.

‘No negotiations with U.S.’

Answering a question by CNBC about holding talks with the U.S., the Iranian oil minister said Iran is not going to negotiate with the U.S. unless all the sanctions are removed.

“If sanctions are lifted, then the United States can see a change in the atmosphere, and we can do a lot in return,” Zanganeh said.

Asked about the attacks on the oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, the official said, “I do not know who has been behind these attacks, but Iran has always supported the maintenance of market security, and we repeatedly stated that the oil market should not involve in politics.”

‘An independent, professional and technical OPEC’

Also on the sidelines of the 176th OPEC gathering, Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s permanent envoy to Vienna-based international organizations, said that Iran supports an independent and professional OPEC not an organization which executes the orders of world powers.

“Iran is in favor of an independent, professional and technical OPEC, not an OPEC that is influenced by a country like the United States, or an organization in which some members are organizing its decisions from outside,” Gharibabadi said.

The envoy further noted that with the support of some OPEC members, the U.S. has always tried to influence the organization’s key decisions.

“They [the U.S.] have implemented unilateral sanctions against some OPEC members, like Iran and Venezuela, and are always following their agenda through some of the OPEC members,” he added.

The 176th meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was held on Monday under the chairmanship of its president, Manuel Salvador Quevedo Fernandez, Minister of Petroleum of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The OPEC also held a meeting with non-OPEC allies on Tuesday.