Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh dismissed the idea of Iran joining other oil-producing countries in a possible freeze of production to counter low prices, insisting that Iran will by no means relinquish its “historical” share in the global oil market.
Speaking in a television talk show, Zanganeh made it clear that Iran “cannot relinquish its historical right and share in the global crude oil market under any circumstances.”
He said Iran has absented itself from an ongoing meeting of oil-producers in Qatar, because Tehran is not basically going to sign a proposed oil freeze deal.
Any plan to freeze Iran’s oil output at the January levels would translate into the uselessness of the removal of sanctions on Tehran, he explained.
His comments came before a Sunday meeting of oil-producing countries in Qatar to discuss a freeze of production.
The gathering follows a surprise Doha meeting in February between Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, in which they pledged to cap their crude output at January levels if other producers do the same.
They hope the cap will help global oil prices rebound from their dramatic fall since the summer of 2014, when prices were above $100 a barrel.
Meanwhile, Iran is striving to maximize its oil output after the termination of the sanction under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a lasting nuclear deal between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) that took effect in January.
Back in February, an Iranian oil official said the country has succeeded in increasing its crude exports by 400,000 barrels per day since the implementation of the JCPOA, getting closer to the purpose of selling 2 million barrels a day.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)