TEHRAN, Jan. 11 (Shana) Deputy Petroleum Minister for International Affairs and Commerce said certain regional countries that are unhappy over Iran’s achievements are behind current problems in the global crude oil markets.
In an interview published by the website Iranian Diplomacy, Amir-Hossein Zamani-Nia said Iran’s increase in oil production and exports following removal of sanctions can be planned in a manner to maintain OPEC production ceiling as well as its country quotas.
“There are definitely customers who are interested to buy Iran’s increased production,” he added, “However, it is better to delay comments on how we will increase our quota within OPEC to the time certain issues are clarified.”
“Iran still hopes that OPEC members will be back to the former quota system and that all countries will produce and supply its oil based on the past regulations,” he said.
To a question on how OPEC can return to its past quotas amid destructive measures of countries such as Saudi Arabia that are using oil prices as a means to put pressure on Iran, Zamani-Nia replied, “Governments not producers decide about Iran’s return to its previous status in the oil markets,” he said, noting that non-OPEC members including the US and Russia also determine oil prices.
Stressing on the necessity of adopting the resistive economy policies, the deputy petroleum minister said Iran’s production from joint gas fields of South Pars is lower from the neighboring Qatar which will be rectified by next year.
On whether Iranian and US firms have negotiated on energy projects in Iran, the official said non-US companies owned by American owners can arrive in Iran within the framework of multi-national companies.
“They have expressed their willingness but our response has been put off to the negotiations in the post-JCPOA setting.”
He referred to the analysts who hold that crude oil prices will increase to 60-70 dollars per barrel in the last quarter of 2016. “We produce oil at less than 10 dollars a barrel which gives us additional options and maneuvering power.”
The Iranian official who also served in the Foreign Ministry said that normalization of ties between Tehran and the world has challenged the status of the countries which pocketed from strained relations.
“They assume that the normalization will create a challenge to their regional and global status and that they have to oppose it through every means,” Zamani-Nia said.
Saying that Iranophobia policies of certain countries will no longer be effective in the post-JCPOA setting, he added that Iran has devised policies to counter the measures aimed at disturbing implementation of the nuclear accord.
When asked about the prospects of Iran-US negotiations on bilateral issues and normalization of ties, Zamani-Nia said, “In international issues, it is not logical to set a deadline.”
“Nevertheless, we do not see a sign of the Iran and US readiness to improve the bilateral relations so that we can expect such a normalization. But there is the possibility that in the post-sanctions setting, a change can happen in both countries’ political approaches.”
He hinted that there is a relationship between Iran’s nuclear agreement and excessive production of oil production by some OPEC countries to negatively affect its outcome and added that positive effects of JCPOA’s implementation will be manifested in the life of Iranian with the passage of time.
The deputy petroleum minister said that sanctions against Iran backfired and helped the Islamic Republic to reduce the dependence on oil revenues from 50 percent of its current expenditures to 40 percent.