Iran has said on Wednesday that it will not freeze its oil input but will keep enhancing crude exports until reaches levels attained before international sanctions were imposed on Tehran.
Earlier, OPEC members traveled to Iran to persuade the country to participate in a deal to freeze output levels, possibly by offering Tehran special terms.
Senior Iranian Oil Ministry official Mahdi Asali’s remarks are a direct snub to a proposed cap to crude oil production that was agreed to by four oil-producing countries during a meeting the day before in Qatar.
Asali said the fall in oil prices should be blamed on oversupply and that it’s up to Saudi Arabia and others to cut down production to boost oil prices.
Dominant OPEC power Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC Russia, the world’s top two producers and exporters, agreed on Tuesday to freeze production levels but said the deal was contingent on others joining in – a major sticking point with Iran absent from the talks and determined to raise production.
OPEC members Qatar, Venezuela and Kuwait said they were also ready to freeze output and oil sources in Iraq – the world’s fastest-growing producer in the past year – said Baghdad would abide by a global deal aimed at tackling a growing oversupply and helping prices recover from their lowest in over a decade.