US never to fulfill dream of bringing Iran oil exports to zero: Zanganeh

SHANA — Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh said the US dream to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero would never come true, adding no countries, except for South Korea, had cut their oil imports from Iran.

Speaking on the sidelines of IranPlast Exhibition in Tehran on Monday, the official touched on the outcome of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) in Algiers, and added that compliance with the production quotas was emphasized in the meeting and no discussions were raised about boosting the output of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Asked whether elimination of Iran’s oil from the market was possible in the short-term, the official said: “Removing Iran’s oil from the market was not a possibility in the mid-term, but the Americans have designs for bringing Iran’s oil exports to zero in the short term even for a mere month in a symbolic manner; but this dream will never come true.”

The official said OPEC was an independent organization, “not an offshoot of US Department of Energy”.

“As I said yesterday, Mr. Trump’s statement that the US protected the countries of the Middle East and that they would not be safe very long without them was the biggest insult to the governments and nations of US allies in the region, that I hope they display their independence in action,” he said.

Mr. Zanganeh said, “What was evidently achieved in Algeria was that no country responded positively to Mr. Trump’s remarks and almost OPEC and even some non-OPEC countries declared there was no need for boosting output.”

“This, if not a heavy blow to Mr. Trump, had no achievements for him,” he said.

The official further added that some countries had lowered their oil import from Iran following US pullout of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May, but no country other than South Korea had stopped imports from Iran since then.

Trump, Responsible for High Oil Prices

Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh said the concluding statement of the JMMC had no mention of boosting oil output of OPEC and non-OPEC countries, saying, “Even some OPEC and non-OPEC ministers declared there was no room for supplying more oil to the market.”

“No one has responded to Mr. Trump’s recent tweet. Each country may act differently (regarding raising crude oil production), but this has nothing to do with OPEC.”

“OPEC is responsible for its decisions and needs consensus for taking them. Fortunately, thanks to the correspondences, arrangements and negotiations of my colleagues, that was predicted happened in Algeria.”

He said oil prices were market-oriented and the price chart was now upward, adding that the reason for the rise in oil prices was US pressure, and “Mr. Trump is responsible, and we (OPEC) have never sought increased prices in the long-run.”