Iranian minister of petroleum has warned fellow OPEC members against any effort to appease the US, saying Tehran will veto any decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that harms Iran’s national interests.
Bijan Zangeneh made the remarks in a Thursday interview with Bloomberg, ahead of a meeting of the Joint OPEC/Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), which is to be held in Algeria on Sunday, just days before the anniversary of OPEC’s decision to cut oil output.
He said the agreement reached in 2016 between OPEC member states and allied producers to cut output “is in tatters”, and the JMMC meeting has no authority to impose a new supply deal.
While Zangeneh is not going to attend the JMMC meeting, he told Bloomberg he “will block any OPEC decision that poses the slightest threat to Iran.”
The Iranian minister underlined that any decision on a new production deal by OPEC’s Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee would be “void” and “invalid”.
“Decisions can only be made at OPEC meetings in the presence of all OPEC members and by consensus of members,” he emphasized.
Referring to US efforts to cut down Iran’s oil exports to zero by November 4, Zangeneh took a swipe at the countries that have vowed to make up for the shortfall in the market, saying that those states are “siding with the US.”
Two OPEC members are seeking to damage the group and carry out “anti-Iranian policies” at the behest of the US, Zangeneh said, without directly naming Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the main backers of the US within the OPEC.
The US and some other OPEC members will probably boost crude supplies from their inventories to keep a lid on prices ahead of the mid-term US Congressional elections in November, the Oil Minister added.
Zangeneh said he has written letters to some of his OPEC and non-OPEC counterparts to express his concerns and complain to the group’s secretary-general about “violations” to the original output cuts agreement.
“The agreement doesn’t really exist anymore. It’s finished… Russia initially cut 300,000 barrels a day of production but then added it all back. … There’s no agreement left, really,” he said.