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OPEC will welcome Iran's return to the oil market when sanctions are lifted

May 30, 2023 at 9:03 am

Haitham Al Ghais Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Kuwait City on 23 December 2018 [YASSER AL-ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Images]

The Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) told Iran’s Shana News Agency, that OPEC would welcome Iran’s full return to the oil market when sanctions are lifted.

Iran is a member of OPEC, although its oil exports are subject to US sanctions aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear programme.

Secretary-General Haitham Al-Ghais, who is visiting Tehran for the first time, added that Iran “has the capacity to bring significant production volumes within a short period of time.”

Shana quoted him as saying: “We believe that Iran is a responsible player amongst its family members, the countries in the OPEC group. I’m sure there will be good work together, in synchronisation, to ensure that the market will remain balanced as OPEC has continued to do over the past many years.”

In response to a question about OPEC’s voluntary production cut and its impact on oil prices, Al-Ghais said: “In OPEC, and I will be very frank with you, we don’t target a certain price level. All our actions, all our decisions are made in order to have a good balance between global oil demand and global oil supply.”

TIMELINE: From hostility to rapprochement, the Iran-Saudi Arabia ties

In April, Saudi Arabia and other members of OPEC+, which includes OPEC and allies including Russia, announced further cuts in oil production by about 1.2 million barrels per day, bringing the total OPEC+ cuts to 3.66 million barrels per day, according to Reuters’ calculations.

Saudi Arabia, the OPEC leader, and Iran announced in March that they would restore diplomatic relations after years of hostility, in a deal brokered by China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer.