172nd OPEC meeting smoothest since 2013: Iran

SHANA – Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says the 172nd meeting of member states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was the “simplest” one since 2013.

Speaking following the Thursday meeting of OPEC members in Vienna, Austria, Zangeneh said, “This was the simplest meeting of the members in the past three years that I have been attending; and the members displayed [unprecedented] unison.”

Not any disagreements or discussions were in the meeting which was held smoothly and decisions were made without any trouble by the members, he said. We extended OPEC output cut plan more than what the market or analysts had expected,” he said.

The official expressed astonishment at lowering oil prices after the OPEC decision, expressing hope that prices will rise in the coming days.

“Non-OPEC producers also manifested unprecedented cooperation with OPEC members and production cut by non-OPEC producers was more than what I expected.”

He said compliance of OPEC producers with the organization’s output cut plan has been over 100% while it was over 90% for non-OPEC suppliers.

Asked whether the OPEC decision could keep the prices at the $55-$60/b range, Mr. Zangeneh said, “This cannot be said with certainty… as there are many issues that factor into oil market prices. Principally, the OPEC decision should bring up downward prices.”

Regarding Iran’s willingness to receive leading companies, he said, “I have openly announced that for American companies, if they grasp this message by the Iranian people, now is the best time for them to join projects in Iran because the Iranian nation have sent their clear message to the world, and world powers must understand this; we have sent the message of friendship and piece to our neighbors and the world with dignity.”

“We are a strong, dignified nation; a nation which has offered lives and blood for its independence and freedom; this is an important issue to understand; democracy in our country is constantly moving towards political maturity.”