Iranian official: Joining oil output freeze would be ‘illogical’

Special to

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

A senior Iranian official is reported as saying it would be “illogical” for Tehran to join a proposed oil output freeze.

Iranian newspaper Shargh quoted Iran’s OPEC envoy Mehdi Asali as saying Tehran would continue to increase oil production until it reaches presanction levels.

The comments come as Venezuela’s oil minister is due to hold talks in Tehran later on February 17 to broker a deal with Iran and Iraq.

Saudi Arabia and Russia — the world’s two largest oil exporters — promised on February 16 to cap production at January levels in a step toward clearing the global oil glut, provided other producers backed the agreement.

Qatar, Venezuela, and Kuwait say they are also committed to the conditional output freeze.

Freed just last month to fully restore international oil exports after three years of sanctions, Tehran has vowed to nearly double production to regain market share.

Iraq, which has already boosted production to record levels, may be more open to halting further growth.

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