OPEC: Iran still a 'very important member'

Head of OPEC says Iran is still an important member of the oil cartel as US sanctions set to kick in.

Ben Ariel, Canada,

National flags in Bandar Abbas, Iran
National flags in Bandar Abbas, Iran

The head of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said Tuesday that Iran remains "a very important member" of the oil cartel, AFP reported.

The comments by Mohammad Barkindo come as Tehran braces for a new round of US sanctions partially targeting its crude exports.

"Iran is a very important member of OPEC... and we have no choice but to continue working with all parties," Barkindo was quoted as having said at the Gulf Intelligence Energy Forum in the emirate of Fujairah.

Iran remains "a very important exporter of oil," he added.

He did not specify how crude producers would compensate for declining exports from Iran, with new US sanctions due to hit the Islamic Republic's oil industry on November 4.

US President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran deal in May. Recently, the President signed an executive order officially reinstating US sanctions against Iran.

Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said Saturday that OPEC had "not much credit left" and slammed Gulf powerhouses Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for turning it into a "tool for the US".

Trump has called for OPEC members, primarily US ally Saudi Arabia, to raise their production, and warned importers to stop buying oil from Iran or face American sanctions.

Barkindo said on Tuesday that a "permanent" framework of cooperation between the 14 OPEC members and 11 non-OPEC oil states, including the world's top producer Russia, was expected in December.

The European signatories to the deal did not agree with Trump’s decision to leave it and have been trying to save the accord, which they see as crucial to forestalling an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Tehran has demanded that Europe come up with an economic package to offset the effects of the US withdrawal but so far has found Europe’s proposals to be unsatisfactory.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Yom Kippur in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)