OPEC is likely to reject a request by Iran to discuss US sanctions against Tehran at this month’s meeting of the oil producer group, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Iran’s OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili asked the chairman of the OPEC board to include a sanctions debate in the agenda for the June 22 talks, according to a copy of Kazempour’s letter dated June 2 and seen by Reuters. Last month, Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh asked OPEC to support it against new US sanctions.
“I would like to ... seek OPEC’s support in accordance with Article 2 of the OPEC Statute, which emphasizes safeguarding the interests of member countries individually and collectively,” Zanganeh wrote last month in a letter to his United Arab Emirates counterpart, who holds the OPEC presidency in 2018.
US President Donald Trump last month pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran, announcing the “highest level” of sanctions against the OPEC member. Oil ministers from OPEC will be meeting at the group’s Vienna headquarters to discuss output policy.
Kazempour, citing Zanganeh’s letter, asked the board to include in the June talks an agenda item titled “OPEC Ministerial Conference support to the Member Countries that are under illegal, unilateral and extraterritorial sanctions”.
The source said that after receiving Kazempour’s request, the UAE’s OPEC governor Ahmed al-Kaabi sought the advice of legal counsel. The counsel responded negatively to Iran’s plea, the source said, on the grounds that the ministerial agenda could not be amended because it had been finalized.