Iran says oil minister removed from Western "black list" (UPDATE)
Details were added after the first paragraph (first version posted at 11:06)
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 28 /Trend T.Konyayeva/
Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Ghasemi was removed from the 'black list' of Western countries, Mehr News Agency reported on Wednesday.
The Iranian Oil Ministry sent a letter to the OPEC Secretariat to admit Ghasemi to the 160th session of the oil cartel in Vienna on December 14. The executive organ has enabled the minister to attend the OPEC meeting as a Head of the organization, which is chaired currently by Iran.
Iran takes over the presidency of the oil cartel from October, 2010, for the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. After approving Ghasemi's candidacy to the post of oil minister in early August, he automatically becomes the Head of the OPEC. But Western sanctions over the minister made his presence at the OPEC's sessions impossible.
Ghasemi previously served as Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General and commander of Khatam al-Anbya Construction Headquarters, an IRGC's construction unit, which currently implements most of Iran's oil and gas projects.
In February 2010, the U.S. Treasury Department has inscribed the minister's name in the "black list" of persons, who are prohibited from doing business with U.S. companies or have accounts in the United States. Furthermore, blacklisted officials and individuals are banned from traveling to the US and European countries.
The U.S. and Europe have not confirmed officially Iranian oil minister's removal from the 'black list'.