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Kuwait wants Iran in oil freeze deal

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Kuwait emphasized on Friday that Iran should be part of an oil freeze deal sought by key OPEC and non-OPEC producers.

Kuwait said on Friday that it is in favor of signing an agreement to freeze oil production at the OPEC summit in early June, but emphasized that such an agreement will be impossible without the participation of Iran. 

The announcement was made by Abdulaziz al-Adwani, Kuwait's ambassador to Russia.  Al-Adwani has told the Russian news agency Interfax that Kuwait wants an agreement to freeze oil production to be reached at the upcoming OPEC summit, but that agreement should also include Iran.

Such a step would be effective and impact the oil price if Iran also agreed to it, he said. It would be unacceptable for some countries to freeze oil production while others increase production, the Kuwaiti ambassador added.

The oil freeze plan that has been raised by key OPEC and non-OPEC producers requires the global production of oil to remain at January levels.

The plan is meant to boost the prices that have fallen 65 percent since peaking in June 2014 due to oversupply.

Iran had so far rejected the call to freeze its output as unfair and emphasized that it will go ahead with its plans to increase its oil production.

Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said in early May that the country is still determined to increase its oil production to as high as four million barrels per day (bpd), stressing that Tehran will only negotiate over joining the oil freeze plan when that target has been achieved.

“We will resort to any move to regain Iran’s lost share in the oil market and increase the country’s production to four million bpd,” Zangeneh has been quoted by the media as saying.

He further described joining the oil freeze plan as a voluntary act of self-sanctioning.

Zangeneh elsewhere said Saudi Arabia is largely to blame for the freefall of oil prices from highs of above $100 per barrel to around $40 per barrel today.

He said oil fell as a result of the persistence of the Saudis to keep their oil production at 10 million bpd as well as by underrating the prices that Iran quotes its clients. 

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