Arab Psywar Against Iran's Return

Arab Psywar Against Iran's Return

The downward trend in the price of oil has nothing to do with Iran's doubling its production ceiling in post-sanctions era, Mohammad Ali Khatibi, Iran's former representative to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, said on Thursday.

About 20 months of talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) led to an accord on July 14 in Vienna to settle a 12-year dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, which is expected to take effect in the coming months.

According to the official, Iran's present crude export, standing at 1.4 million barrels per day, will gradually double by December, because of which some Arab OPEC members have waged a psychological warfare against Iran, Mehr News agency reported.

Criticizing the discriminatory policies of OPEC secretary-general, Khatibi said, "Not only has Abdalla Salem el-Badri not taken any steps to help Iran reclaim its lost market share, but he emphasizes that the market will face a glut if Iran ramps up production.

"Iran pays $2 million annual subscription fee to OPEC. Furthermore, we expect the organization to make room for our production as it has already assisted Iraq, Kuwait and Libya to resume their ceiling."

Khatibi noted that in spite of the fact that OPEC members made a pledge to maintain the 30 million bpd ceiling, the organization's current production level has surpassed 32 million bpd, which is why oil price has decreased to $47.

The price of OPEC basket crudes stood at $47.10 a barrel on Thursday, according to OPEC Secretariat's calculations on 7 August. Khatibi is of the opinion that Badri ought to protect all members' rights, but as long as Saudi Arabia does not fulfill its commitments, oil price will remain out of control.

According to OPEC reports, Saudis have raised their production level from 8 million bpd to 10 million bpd in three years and have never confirmed their commitment to a stable and balanced oil market.


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