IRAN HAS BEEN EXEMPTED
SHANA - Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said the country was exempted from an agreement among OPEC members to continue capping the producer body's crude oil output by 0.8 mbd.
"Fortunately, amendments were made to the OPEC and Non-OPEC Cooperation Charter, and decisions of this charter are not binding and will not create an obligation for the countries," Mr. Zangeneh said to reporters in Vienna following the 176th OPEC Meeting.
According to Zangeneh, the statement of OPEC's 176th Meeting explicitly emphasized that the charter did not affect the body's decisions and operational procedures.
The periodical chairman and vice chairman of the OPEC and Non-OPEC cooperation charter would be selected, too, he added.
Once again, Iran has been exempted from the OPEC output cut deal, Zangeneh told the reporters.
"As the OPEC-non-OPEC Cooperation Charter is fully voluntary and not mandatory, I think it is acceptable for the Iranian government."
The purpose of the charter is to provide a mechanism for OPEC and non-OPEC producers to cooperate without having to be a member of the organization.
The meeting venue for OPEC and non-OPEC Cooperation Charter is currently in Vienna, he said.
The Iranian official asserted that Iran's demands were materialized at OPEC's 176th meeting, adding, "Oil is not a political tool in essence and we cannot deny the political nature of OPEC and oil, but we always call for non-political administration of the organization."
"Unfortunately, oil is now being used as a tool to put pressure on Iran and other members such as Venezuela," the official further added after 5 hours of talks with fellow OPEC members behind closed doors.