Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh says a US bid to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero is a “pious hope,” and noted that the use of oil sanctions could lead to further volatility in the global market.
Zangeneh said that Iran held no grudge against any countries in the region but noted that two regional states overstate their production capacities to reassure the market after Iran’s output was limited by US sanctions, cited by PressTV.
“As I have already said, the US wishes to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero but this is a pious hope. Any independent market expert knows that a surplus of capacities declared by certain countries is exaggeration and overstatement,” Zangeneh told the opening of the 24th International Oil, Gas, Refining and Petrochemical Exhibition in Tehran on Wednesday.
Oil prices hit their highest level since November shortly after the US said all waivers given to eight major buyers of Iranian crude, which allowed them to import Iran’s crude without facing sanctions, would end after May 1.
READ MORE: Iran Takes Steam Out of US Sanctions, Boosts Gas Sales to Neighbours
Zangeneh also pointed to the volatility of the oil market and criticized certain countries for using oil as a weapon, saying the fragility of the oil market would not be compensated by issuing statements and denying the shortage in the market.
“Iran has never used oil as a political weapon. Any country using oil as a political tool should accept its repercussions as well,” the Iranian oil minister said.
Zangeneh added that countries using oil as a weapon against two founding members of OPEC – Iran and Venezuela — are turning unity in the organization into division and are causing the death and collapse of OPEC. Both Iran and Venezuela are currently targeted by US sanctions on their oil industries. Saudi Arabia has previously said it would replace the input losses of Iran and Venezuela to keep the market vital.