OPEC Existence main Concern for Iran: Zangeneh2019-07-02Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh told reporters ahead of the 176th OPEC meeting in Vienna that the existence of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was the main issue for Iran in the meeting.
Following is an excerpt from Mr. Zangeneh’s response to reporters on Monday, July 1, 2019, at OPEC headquarters.
Zangeneh on meeting with Novak: We had short but effective dialogue with him.
Asked what Iran got in signing up for the extension of nine months, Zangeneh said: I have no difficulty as I said before with extension or role-over of the last decision. I have only a complaint about the procedure, not about the main issue.
Q: Do you feel that your voice has been heard here at OPEC in terms of what's happening with sanctions?
Zangeneh: Yes. Most of OPEC members are condemning the U.S. imposed sanctions against Iran. Some others believe that OPEC is a nonpolitical organization and it's not its mission to declare something to condemn the United States.
Q: Do you want them to condemn the United States before the close of business at this meeting?
Zangeneh: No...because some OPEC members had some reservations not to permit them to condemn the United States.
Q: Can I ask you what's the ideal outcome for Iran in this OPEC meeting?
Zangeneh: This meeting may do nothing. Because the price is not bad for us to be higher than it is now. It is not the main matter for us. The main matter for us is to export more barrels. To me to protect the existence of OPEC is the main important item in this meeting. I think in this meeting we had an achievement for better procedure for decision making inside OPEC.
Q: Can I ask you in terms of your sales to China, how is the Chinese demand for your oil?
Zangeneh: I will not say even one word about the sanctions and our deals during the sanction period.
Q: Can I ask you what your red line is for talks with America? What is Iran's red line to sit down with Donald Trump, sir?
Zangeneh: Our Leader clearly declared under the pressure, anyone cannot start negotiations. What it means is that if the United States lift the sanctions against Iran, we can witness significant change in the environment.
Q: Is that a real possibility sir? Is that a real possibility this year?
Zangeneh: I said we can see, we can witness real, significant change in the environment.
Q: Can you tell us about China's cooperation? Is it going to receive exports of Iranian oil?
Zangeneh: I don't say anything about our deals during the sanctions.
Q: Would you confirm it if production cuts were deeper?
Zangeneh: I would have no trouble with it. Is that true?
Q: what is your response to the United States export sanctions; do you feel optimistic that a deal between the two nations can be reached where you can sell your oil around the world and relationships can be restored?
Zangeneh: By increasing the pressure, Iran is not ready to open discussions with the United States. If the United States wants to change that environment between the two countries, firstly, they need to leave all the sanctions against Iranian oil and other areas. Then you would see significant change in the environment.
Q: Is it safe for tankers in the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz. Is it safe for oil ships in the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman?
Zangeneh: I don't know who has done against the ships in Oman; on the Iranian side, during the more than 100 years, we secured the market; and we repeated it for many times that the oil market should be depoliticized and that oil is not a weapon and that the oil market should be depoliticized for all and it is not a tool to use against some countries, to limit its exports and other. Oil is oil. Please understand it that the market should be left with the fundamentals; not to put pressure on some part of the market to do so and to do so. It does not benefit anyone.