Iran’s oil minister says Tehran has no problem talking to Riyadh officials, and a meeting with his Saudi counterpart during an ongoing event in Moscow is not unlikely.
“We have never had any problems with regards to having meetings with Saudi officials; rather, it is they that always have problems,” said the oil minister upon arrival in the Russian capital, Moscow, where he is to attend the 21st oil and energy ministers’ meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).
He touched upon the drone attacks by the Ansarullah movement on Saudi oil installations which led to a drop in the country’s crude output.
“We see that the market is back to normal,” he said.
“I never believed that the attack had knocked out half of Saudi oil production. As I have said before, I think Saudi Arabia has politically aggrandized the issue to create the impression that energy security in the world has been jeopardized,” said the oil minister.
“Oil prices have been on the decline over the past 7 to 10 days, and the six-dollar increase to crude prices have been cut again,” he noted.
Zanganeh further underlined that the energy market should steer clear of political considerations.
“While elaborating on my positions in Russia, I will stress that the energy market should be non-political in order to prevent unilateral and illegal intervention in it,” he said.
He further emphasized the importance of Tehran-Moscow cooperation in the energy sector.
“We have strategic relations with Russia on all fronts, including in the energy sector. In the GECF meeting, we will have an opportunity to express our stances,” he noted.
Zanganeh added he will have one-on-one meetings with his counterparts from Russia and other countries during his trip.
He reminded that the GECF meeting was held in Tehran for the first time, saying a rise in the number of its members in the Moscow event shows the initiative has been a successful one.
The GECF conference opens in Moscow on Thursday, October 3, 2019.