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Oil Minister: Falling Crude Prices Unable to Push Iran to Soften Tone

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Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh stressed that the free fall in oil prices will not affect the country’s steadfast positions and stances.

“We pursue a series of measures to confront the oil price falls, but the important point is that we have shown that we will not withdraw from our positions by decreasing oil prices and will not change our positions; we will continue our resistance regardless of oil prices,” Namdar Zanganeh told reporters in Tehran on Sunday.

Asked if Iran would call for an OPEC emergency meeting, he said an OPEC session will not help the situation and the member states first should reach a consensus.

“Iran will not call for an OPEC emergency meeting unless it sees consensus among the members,” Namdar Zanganeh said.

Also asked about the membership of new countries in the oil cartel, he said, “The new members are have a low (production) capacity and their membership will not help the OPEC.”

“And Russia will not enter the OPEC either,” Zanganeh added.

In relevant remarks last month, Iranian Government Spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht underscored that the country was ready to defuse the possible impacts of the fall in crude prices over the Iranian economy, ensuring that the government could manage the country even with lower oil revenues.

“The oil market is a completely political and fluctuating market and the pressure exerted on us falls on those Arab states which increase production and give special discounts to lower the oil prices too, and they will also sustain losses as well,” Nobakht told reporters in Tehran.

“They think that they can pressure Iran by continuing such conditions, but just the same way that we are now acting exactly on the basis of the budget planning despite the decreased (oil) prices in the current year, we will move on the same course in future as well,” he added.

Also in December, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani warned that the decrease in oil prices in recent months was the result of a plot hatched by certain countries.

The fall of oil prices is a manufactured and political plot, he said.

“The reduction in crude oil prices is not an economic issue, rather a political plot and planning by certain countries,” Shamkhani added.

President Hassan Rouhani also stated last month that the sudden decrease in oil prices in recent months was a plot hatched by the enemies against the regional people and Muslims.

“The fall of crude prices is not merely an economic issue, rather it is the result of certain states’ political plot and planning,” Rouhani said, addressing a cabinet meeting in Tehran.

“The decrease in oil price is a plot against the regional people and Muslims which merely serves the interests of some other countries,” he added.

Stressing that the regional people would not forget these plots and betrayals against the Muslim world, Rouhani said, “Certainly, people will react to such schemes and the countries which have hatched this plot should know that they have just increased the Muslim world’s hatred for themselves.”

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