Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi says Saudi Arabia cannot replace Iran’s oil supply to the global market in the long run, reports.
Qasemi made the remarks during an interview with Press TV’s News Analysis on Monday night.
He noted that although the Saudi side stated at the most recent OPEC meeting that Saudi Arabia was not seeking to take Iran’s share of the oil market, “the latest policy of Saudi Arabia turned out otherwise” as Riyadh announced that it was ready to compensate for a lack of Iranian oil in the market.
The Iranian oil minister said, “Saudi production may be temporary, and it definitely cannot continue.”
“It is not practical, and if it is practical, it is transient… and will have negative effects in the future,” he added.
Saudi Arabia is producing oil at its maximum capacity and any further production cannot last for a long time, Qasemi stated.
He also announced that despite unilateral sanctions by the European Union and the United States, Iran has not decreased its crude production, saying, “There has been no decrease in Iran’s crude (exports)” and “We have always asked that the production ceiling (of OPEC)… be maintained.”
He went on to say that the quality of Iran’s crude is very high, adding, “We have our own customers, and there is no limitation in this.”
Qasemi also said that Iran is ready to resume exports if other states revise their antagonistic policies toward the Islamic Republic, adding that Iran’s decision to cut oil exports to several European countries has had a negative impact on their economies.
“Today the oil sanctions on Iran have affected the European market… because of the tension in the market and the increase in the oil prices.”
The price of oil has risen several times over the past few months due to Iran’s decision to cut oil exports to some European countries.
After the EU foreign ministers agreed on January 23 to ban oil imports from the Islamic Republic, Tehran implemented countermeasures and halted oil exports to Britain, France, Germany, Spain, and Greece.
Commenting on the drop in the price of oil after the talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (the P5+1 group), he said, “It usually happens in various seasons, especially in summer compared to winter.”
Iran and the P5+1 group wrapped up two rounds of negotiations in Istanbul on Saturday and agreed to hold the next round of talks in Baghdad on May 23, 2012. Both sides hailed the talks as successful and constructive.
Tehran and the P5+1 group previously held two rounds of talks, one in Geneva in December 2010 and another in Istanbul in January 2011.