Zangeneh: Iran not to join any deal on output cut

Tehran, Dec 6, IRNA – Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says Iran will not join any agreement for output cut.

Zangehen made the announcement in an interview with reporters just before the 175th OPEC session starts work in Vienna on Thursday.

He said OPEC is mature enough to decide in line with interests of majority of its members.

He added that the reports received from the OPEC secretariat point to the supply surplus ranging between 1.3 and 1.4 million barrels.

The Minister said there have been suggestions for output cut between 1.3 million and 2.4 million barrels and they will be discussed. 'OPEC should eventually decide on the figures acceptable to majority of the members.'

Elsewhere in the interview, Zangeneh said Iran's exclusion from the deal for output cut is not unnatural.

'That's natural; otherwise and having no exception will be unnatural,' said Zangeneh, adding that all Iran's financial transactions are in foreign currencies other than dollar.

'Since Iran is under sanctions and will be exempted from the output cut, so I do not make any comment on the output cut,' said Zangeneh when asked whether Iran seeks exemption.

He said Iran has no problem with the OPEC output cut and that depends on the decision of the majority of the members. 'Iran will not join any agreement on the output cut as long as sanctions are not totally eliminated.'

'On sanctions or the figures regarding Iran oil production and exports in the sanctions era, I am not going to say anything.'

He put the appropriate price for any barrel of oil at 60 to 70 dollars. 'I think the price will be acceptable for majority of the OPEC members. However, on which level of production there will be agreement, it will be decided in the meeting behind closed doors.'

He said it is very clear that under conditions when Iran is facing sanctions on oil, it cannot subtract more oil from the market and cut its output more than the pressure it has received. 'I think Venezuela also wants to be exempted.'

To a question by a reporter whether other OPEC members agree on Iran getting excluded, the minister said, 'They do understand our conditions and we expect them to cooperate with us. That's the least amount of cooperation. However, if they do not wish to do so, we will not accept any other decision.'

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