Dec 13, 2018 10:21 Asia/Tehran

Iran's oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has described recent OPEC meeting in Vienna as another defeat for the U.S. in its anti-Iran policies.

Iran News: The minister told Iran TV Channel Two's special talk show that the meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was tough because it was held under the severe U.S. pressure campaign, Iran Press news agency reported.

"If Iran was forced to agree to cut its oil production, the country's capacity for producing and selling oil would have been decreased by 600,000 barrels per day but the Islamic Republic of Iran insisted and it was exempted from OPEC deal to cut its oil production," said Zanganeh.

The Iranian oil minister said the current status of markets shows that OPEC's measure to cut oil production was acceptable, noting that the oil producing organisation is faced with certain threats some of which are external while others have internal roots.

Zanganeh said the U.S. pressure to impose sanctions on Iranian oil products was heavier than its will and pressure to sanction Iran's crude oil.

OPEC and 10 other oil producing nations have agreed to cut output by 1.2 million barrels a day despite opposition from US President Donald Trump's administration.

After two days of talks at the OPEC headquarters in Vienna, OPEC and non-OPEC countries, including Russia, reached the deal on Friday to slash their output from January 1, 2019 in a bid to raise crude prices. The US had sought a reduction in oil prices.

"We'll cut 1.2 million bpd total," Iraq's Oil Minister Thamer Abbas al-Ghadhban told reporters after the meeting.

He added that the 14 OPEC members would curb their output by 800,000 bpd while the 10 non-OPEC allies would contribute a 400,000 bpd reduction.

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Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak also confirmed the combined output cuts and said the market would be oversupplied through the first half of the year.

However, the Friday's deal exempted Iran, along with Venezuela and Libya.

Speaking to reporters at the end of the session, Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh expressed his satisfaction with the decision.

He added that the negotiations were "difficult and complicated" but led to a result in favor of the OPEC member states and Iran.

"OPEC does not want to be pressured from outside the organisation. I do not know when the US administration will take lessons from this trend," the Iranian petroleum minister said.

On Thursday, Zangeneh said Iran should be exempted from any oil production cut deal as long as it remains under “illegal” US sanctions. 

“We should be excluded from any decision about the level of production in the future until the lifting of the imposed illegal sanctions,” Zangeneh told reporters. “Iran will not involve itself in any deal over OPEC production levels.”

Oil prices have fallen from a four-year high above $86 a barrel in early October on concerns over excess supply.  

Zanganeh told reporters in Vienna that Iran favoured the price of each barrel of oil to remain between $60 to $70. 

The Trump administration launched the second wave of sanctions against Iran on November 5, saying that a universal ban on the country’s oil exports was cited as a primary objective.

Although US officials mainly targeted Iran’s oil sales, officials in Tehran have repeatedly rejected the feasibility of this, stressing that international consumers cannot afford to lose Iranian supplies. 206/103

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