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Iran's president: Unity within OPEC will foil Western plots to sow discord

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi (R) and Haitham Al Ghais (L), the OPEC secretary-general, meet in Tehran on May 27, 2023. (Photo by president.ir)

President Ebrahim Raeisi of Iran has warned against a Western plot to sow discord among the member states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

“Certain Western countries are after disunity within OPEC. The member states need to prevent the realization of such goals by strengthening unity,” Raeisi said in a meeting with OPEC Secretary-General Haitham Al Ghais in Tehran on Saturday.

He said constructive interaction among the members is an important factor in OPEC’s success.

Referring to Iran's constant "constructive" cooperation with OPEC, Raeisi said the Islamic Republic was determined to improve interaction with the organization.

The Iranian president said OPEC has been established to “support the rights of oil producers and prevent discrimination against them.”

Iran's crude oil production has remained at relatively low levels in recent years due in large part to US sanctions.

Iranian Minister of Petroleum Javad Owji said earlier this month the output had exceeded 3 million barrels per day (bpd) in recent months – up from 2.4 million bpd in 2021 but still shy of nearly 4 million bpd reported before the imposition of US sanctions in 2018.

Owji said, however, that Iran’s current crude output levels do not match the country's recoverable reserves which he said is virtually 154 billion barrels.

During the meeting, the OPEC official hailed Iran's effective cooperation with the organization and its members and said Tehran has always worked to strengthen cohesion within OPEC.

Ghais hoped that peace would be restored to the oil market through consensus among the OPEC members.


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