18:27 GMT +320 February 2019
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    In this Dec. 22, 2014 file photo, an Iranian oil worker makes his way through Tehran's oil refinery south of the capital Tehran, Iran.

    Iranian Oil Minister Rules Out Participation in Oil Output Freeze Action

    © AP Photo / Vahid Salemi, File
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    Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said that Tehran will not accept any plan entailing freezing of oil production.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Tehran will not accept any plan entailing freezing of oil production, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said Sunday.

    "I even had discussions with Saudi oil minister at that meeting [in Doha, Qatar, in April] because they wanted us to lower oil production in our country to the levels of early 2016. I said to him, ‘You have got to be kidding!,’" Zangeneh said, as quoted by the IRINN television channel.

    Iran got the opportunity to resume oil trade since it reached an agreement with leading world powers, according to which it pledged to guarantee the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities in exchange for the sanctions against it being lifted.

    The decision came amid a global oil price slump due to oversupplies of crude. In February, the energy ministers of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Venezuela and Russia addressed the oil market situation in Doha and agreed to freeze oil production at January levels if other countries followed suit.

    At the latest Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting in Doha in mid-April, the sides failed to agree on freezing crude oil output levels at January levels to shore up prices after Riyadh had unexpectedly backed out of an all-but-certain agreement. Saudi Arabia continues to insist that Iran, which only recently reappeared in the energy market after years of international sanctions and has been boosting its oil sales, should be part of any production cuts.


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