A senior Iranian lawmaker called on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to counter EU's sanctions efforts against Iran's oil sector, warning that the US-led efforts against Iran's oil exports could also damage the reputation of the oil cartel.
"Iran is one of the unique members of OPEC with years of activity in this organization, which has made decisions crucial to OPEC's fate," member of the Parliament's Energy Commission Majid Naserinejad.
"OPEC should never be influenced by the world powers' ploy," he said, and called on the oil cartel to defend Iran as one of its members.
"All international bodies and institutions support their members," he said, and added, "The atmosphere of sanctions against Iran will definitely harm OPEC's credit."
Naserinejad at the same time underscored Iran's ability to supply its own people's needs thanks to its rich energy resources and regardless of all the restrictions and sanctions imposed on the country by the West.
The price of crude oil moved back above $95 Tuesday morning amid renewed concerns over supplies from Iran, after the OPEC member said crude production had dropped.
Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) futures for February delivery, the most actively traded contract, gained $1.11 to $95.16 a barrel.
Meantime, Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi said last week that his Saudi counterpart has vowed that if the western, specially the European, states ban Iranian oil imports, Riyadh would not replace Tehran as their source of crude supplies.
Qassemi made the remarks on the sidelines of the 160th ministerial meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna.
Going into a closed-door talks of the OPEC member states, Qassemi said he had met with Saudi counterpart Ali Naimi and gained a pledge that the Saudis would refrain from flooding the market with extra oil in case an international embargo on Iranian crude hurt Tehran's ability to sell its petroleum.
The US is reportedly seeking Saudi assurances that they are ready to make up for Iranian crude lost from the market should increased international sanctions be imposed on Tehran's crude.
Qassemi said he spoke to Naimi and Naimi "rejects" the notion "that he wants to replace Iranian crude if Iran faces (such) sanctions".