Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says all member states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) must make joint efforts to stabilize the global oil market and reverse a slump in prices following their landmark supply-cut deal, Press TV reported.
In a telephone conversation with Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday, Rouhani said Tehran and Caracas have held extensive consultations with the purpose of restoring stability to the oil market and lifting crude prices.
He pointed to the agreements reached during OPEC meetings in Algiers and Vienna this year, saying all oil-producing countries should work to pave the way for their implementation.
OPEC members agreed during their extraordinary meeting in Algiers, Algeria, late in September to limit production in an effort to raise the low crude prices. They decided to cut production by 750,000 barrels a day.
Iran, however, has been exempted from the decision because of its exceptional situation of having been under sanctions for a number of years.
During their meeting in Vienna on November 30, OPEC members agreed to slash production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of 2017 but exempted Iran from any production cuts – what the country had insisted on since Saudi Arabia raised the OPEC production cut proposal earlier this year.
OPEC – in its first production deal in eight years - even agreed to allow Iran to increase its crude oil production by 90,000 bpd from January 2016 when a nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries became effective.
Since the removal of nuclear-related sanctions targeting its oil industry, Iran - which is OPEC’s third largest producer after Saudi Arabia and Iraq - has been boosting production in order to reach previous levels and has rejected as unfair calls on the country to freeze production.
The Iranian president further said Tehran remains resolved to support stabilization of the oil market and a surge in prices, adding that non-OPEC members also play a significant role in successfully implementing the agreements.
“Close cooperation among OPEC and non-OPEC countries is key to stabilizing the oil prices and their increase,” Rouhani stated.