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Iran: ‘Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have turned OPEC into a US toy’

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The Iranian representative in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has accused Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of taking over Iran’s share of oil exports.

“Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are turning OPEC into a tool for the US and, as a result, the organization does not have much credit,” OPEC’s Iranian governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told Sana news agency.

US President Donald Trump is trying to reduce Tehran’s oil exports to zero, while Washington introduces new sanctions against the nation after unilaterally abandoning the nuclear deal signed by Russia, China, Iran and several other European states.

Earlier this month, Iran told OPEC that no member country should withdraw part of its exports after Saudi Arabia offered more oil to offset the cut in sales of the Iranian product by the United States, the Middle East Eye said.

In June, OPEC agreed to increase oil production by about one million barrels a day – a move strongly opposed to Iran’s positioning.

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As Washington introduces more sanctions against Tehran, Iran’s top oil buyers, China and India, have distanced themselves from Iran, forcing domestic oil production to its lowest point since 2016, according to data from the International Energy Agency.

In an interview with Sana, Ardebili accused Saudi Arabia and Russia – the last non-OPEC member – of taking the oil market as a “hostage”, boosting oil production.

“Russia and Saudi Arabia claim that they seek to balance the global oil market but are trying to take over part of Iran’s slice,” Ardebili said. “Trump’s efforts to cut off Iran’s access to the global oil market have led Russia and Saudi Arabia to take the oil market hostage….”

The OPEC Iranian representative attacked a 2017 agreement signed by the alliance, saying it had already failed, as some key producers – including Iraq, Algeria and Nigeria – were violating the agreement and producing levels much higher than those agreed in the text.

These and other factors could easily lead the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to stockpile additional oil resources, something that the OPEC agreement of 2017 sought to avoid, as the practice could quickly topple global oil prices, Ardebili, as quoted by PressTV, said.

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