Rafsanjani Demands OPEC Cooperation to Prevent Further Drop in Oil Prices


Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani called on the OPEC member-states to stop the falling crude prices in the international markets through unity against consumers’ excessive demands.
“OPEC is an organization for supporting oil producers and it should not be influenced by the excessive demands of oil consumers,” Rafsanjani said in a meeting with Algerian Ambassador to Iran Sofiane Mimouni in Tehran on Wednesday.

The Algerian envoy, for his part, pointed to the sudden fall of oil prices in international markets, and said, “OPEC should regulate its policies within the framework specified by oil producers.”

Earlier this month, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian strongly criticized Saudi Arabia for not cooperating with other OPEC member-states to prevent further fall in oil prices.

“Riyadh’s lack of effort in preventing the price drop is at odds with the atmosphere of the diplomatic negotiations between Iran and Saudi Arabia,” Amir Abdollahian told reporters.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister reiterated that the Saudi Arabia’s strategic mistake will be harmful to the entire Middle East and it will only benefit the foreigners.

Also earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that the sudden decrease in oil prices in recent months is 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 will 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.”

In relevant remarks, President Rouhani downplayed the effects of falling oil price, and underlined his government’s plans to boost non-oil exports to $50bln next year.

“One of the most important topics of the government’s economic plans is increasing non-oil exports and this growth will help our economy,” Rouhani said in Tehran, addressing an open session of the parliament in which he presented the budget bill for the next Iranian year (to start on March 21) to the legislative body.

“We hope to see a considerable share of non-oil exports next year and by continuing this trend, (the country’ revenues from) non-oil exports will surpass $50bln,” he added.

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