Zanganeh on Mission to Protect Iran’s Share of Global Oil Market
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, who is in the Austrian capital of Vienna to attend a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is on a mission to preserve the Islamic Republic’s share of the global oil market.
OPEC members plan to meet later on Monday in Vienna followed by a meeting with non-OPEC states on July 2, where both sides are expected to extend the current output restrictions of 1.2 million barrels per day for another six to nine months.
Zanganeh’s participation in the 176th Meeting of the OPEC Conference came as the US and its regional allies are pressuring Iran to reduce its share of the world oil market.
In case the Islamic Republic joins the OPEC plan to extend the current output restrictions, its share will decrease and it will not be easily recoverable.
At the previous meeting of the OPEC Conference, attempts by Saudi Arabia and its main ally, the US, failed to reduce Iran’s share of oil production in the long run.
“Iran supports cooperation with non-OPEC states, but as long as some OPEC members are hostile against other members, like Iran, OPEC’s understandings with non-OPEC states are meaningless and there is no room for cooperation,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying by SHANA on Monday.
The remarks came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US with Washington imposing new sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The US has ratcheted up pressure on Iran since last year after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Since then, the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to reduce Iran’s oil exports to “zero,” and has sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber squad, an amphibious assault ship, and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to try to stack up pressure on Tehran.
Iranian officials, however, have dismissed such moves as psychological warfare, saying the country has its own ways of circumventing the American bans and selling crude oil.
On the first anniversary of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Iran announced that it would suspend the implementation of some of its commitments under the deal, announcing that it would stop exporting excess uranium and heavy water, setting a 60-day deadline for the five remaining parties to the deal to take practical measures towards ensuring its interests in the face of the American sanctions.