Iran has no plans of leaving OPEC, says Iran’s oil minister

Iran has no plans to leave the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said in an interview published by the Iranian parliament news site ICANA on Saturday.

“Iran has no plans to leave OPEC…and regrets that some members of OPEC have turned this organization into a political forum for confronting two founding members of OPEC, meaning Iran and Venezuela,” Zanganeh told ICANA.

“And two regional countries are showing enmity towards us in this organization. We are not their enemy but they are showing enmity towards us…and (they) use oil as a weapon against us in the global market and world,” he added.

Zanganeh did not name the two countries.

Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have spiked this year after the two said they would increase oil production to make up for Iranian crude cut from the market by US sanctions.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump’s administration added Iran’s largest petrochemical holding group to its sanctions list, accusing it of indirectly supporting Tehran’s Revolutionary Guards. Washington said the move aimed to dry up revenues to the elite Iranian military force but analysts called it largely symbolic.

The Trump administration is seeking to intensify economic and military pressure against Iran because of its nuclear and missile programs as well as its support for proxy groups in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

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