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Iran supports oil freeze pact without pledging to cut its own production

Tehran, the capital city of Iran. Picture by ninara, Wiki Commons

Iran has supported an accord by Saudi Arabia and Russia to steady global oil markets by capping their supply, without saying whether it would temper its own production.

Iran backs any measures to stabilize global oil markets including the plan outlined by the world’s two largest crude producers yesterday to cap output at January levels, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganehsaid after talks with fellow OPEC members Qatar, Iraq and Venezuela.

While the deal hinges on the cooperation of Iran, Zanganeh didn’t say whether the Persian nation would deviate from plans to restore exports after international sanctions were removed last month.

“If Iran’s not part of the deal, it isn’t worth much,” said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodity markets strategy at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “After fighting to end sanctions for years and finally being free of them, why Iran would choose to put sanctions on themselves by freezing their production?”

By merely capping supply rather than cutting it, the deal wouldn’t succeed in tackling the global oil glut, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and BNP Paribas SA said.

Iran, which was the second-biggest producer in OPEC before sanctions were intensified in 2012, is seeking to boost output by 1 million barrels a day and regain market share.

Iran should have increased production by 500,000 barrels a day by March 20, the end of the Iranian calendar year, Shana reported on Wednesday, citing Roknoddin Javadi, managing director of National Iranian Oil Co.

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