GENEVA—Iran has no plans to leave the OPEC, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said in an interview published by the Iranian parliament news site ICANA on June 8.
“Iran has no plans to leave OPEC...and regrets that some members of OPEC have turned this organization into a political forum for confronting two founding members of OPEC, meaning Iran and Venezuela,” Zanganeh told ICANA.
“And two regional countries are showing enmity towards us in this organization. We are not their enemy but they are showing enmity towards us...and (they) use oil as a weapon against us in the global market and world."
Zanganeh did not name the two countries.
Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have spiked this year after the two said they would increase oil production to make up for Iranian crude cut from the market by U.S. sanctions.
On Friday, President Donald Trump's administration added Iran's largest petrochemical holding group to its sanctions list, accusing it of indirectly supporting Tehran's Revolutionary Guards. Washington said the move aimed to dry up revenues to the elite Iranian military force but analysts called it largely symbolic.
Also, on Saturday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said those additional sanctions “show that Washington's offer of talks is not genuine.”
Trump said earlier this month that he would be willing to talk to the Islamic Republic.
Tensions have risen between Iran and the U.S. in recent weeks after Washington sent more military forces to the Middle East, including an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles, in a show of force against what U.S. officials call Iranian threats to U.S. troops and interests in the region.
The U.S. has said it aims to intensify economic and military pressure on Iran because of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs as well as its support for proxy groups in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.
The oil and gas industry depends on the U.S. Navy to keep the sea lanes safe in an increasingly unsafe world.
The United States has allowed Iraq to import Iranian gas for its power grid for another three months by extending a waiver to U.S. sanctions for Baghdad, two government sources said on Saturday.
Speaking at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Sechin said a third of global oil reserves were restricted by U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela and that Washington was losing moral ground as a self-styled leader of open markets.