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Iran Accuses Russia And Saudi Arabia Of Stealing Market Share

Russia and Saudi Arabia are eating into Iran’s oil market share, Tehran’s OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, said in an interview with state oil agency Shana.

The official did not reserve his criticism for these two, however. He also slammed other OPEC members for welcoming the U.S. sanctions against Tehran and taking advantage of the situation to boost their production.

“On the one hand” Ardebili said, “Russia and Saudi Arabia, under the pretext of balancing the supply and demand of the world, are seeking a part of Iran's market share; on the other hand, some OPEC members are hands in hands with the United States to strike some OPEC founding members.”

At the same time, Ardebili was skeptical about Saudi Arabia, for one, being able to boost its production to 12 million bpd as it claimed it would should the need arise amid Iran sanctions.

“Saudi Arabia has tapped its stockpiles of about 240 million barrels based on the latest estimates to bring its oil production to 12 mbd, a record the kingdom had previously registered during occupation of Kuwait by Iraq, as well as the overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Again, Riyadh will need to tap its oil inventories to strike such production levels,” The OPEC governor of Iran said.

Related: Russia Looks To Boost Gas Sales In Tighter European Markets

The interview comes a few days after Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei approached Russia’s Vladimir Putin for support in trying to “restrain” Washington.

At the same time, Ardebili accused Russia of trying to cozy up to Washington through Riyadh to make the most of the oil market situation. Although he admitted it is more or less natural for every oil producer to take advantage of higher prices and seek to maximize its gains, the official said that Russia and Saudi Arabia were pursuing “hostage-taking policies in the market.”

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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