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OPEC ready to welcome back Iran

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The secretary general of OPEC, Haitham Al Ghais, has said during a visit to Tehran that his organisation would welcome Iran’s return to the international oil market.

While Iran is already a member of OPEC, it has been subject to sanctions from the United States since 2016 that have limited the countries it can sell its oil and gas to. It continued exporting oil though, most notably to China, as well as some allied countries like Syria.

The English-language website of the SHANA news agency cites Al Ghais as saying:

“We believe that Iran is a responsible player amongst its family members, the countries in the OPEC group. I’m sure there will be good work together, in synchronization, to ensure that the market will remain balanced as OPEC has continued to do over the past many years.”

He also mentioned that Iran could significantly increase production quite rapidly if a deal were to be found between it and the US. There have been efforts to come to a revised deal that would see sanctions lifted, especially given the market volatility that was seen following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The US would like to see greater oil production, but US producers like ExxonMobil, the maker of Mobil grease and coolant products, can only increase production so much.

Nevertheless, tentative talks have so far ended in failure, suggesting that some issues between the main parties may be unresolvable, although Iran has had some success in restoring diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia through mediation from China.

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