News ID: 254437
Published: 0313 GMT June 17, 2019

Oil minister denies any disagreement with president Rouhani

Oil minister denies any disagreement with president Rouhani

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh on Monday denied a report that he had disagreed with President Hassan Rouhani over the sale of Iranian oil in the face of US sanctions, and said he would remain in his job.

Last week, an Iranian lawmaker said Zanganeh and Rouhani had fought over the issue during a cabinet meeting.

“I have had no problem with Mr. Rouhani... I do not know who is giving the lawmakers such news,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying by SHANA.

“I will not retreat,” Zanganeh said, in an apparent reference to mounting pressure on him to quit.

The United States reimposed sanctions last year on exports of Iranian oil after President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 accord between Iran and six world powers.

Last month, a separate Iranian lawmaker said he was gathering signatures in Parliament to support a motion to oust Zanganeh for his failure to counter US sanctions on Iran’s oil sales. He has failed so far to gather enough signatures to move the motion forward.

A government spokesman said on Sunday that Iran’s government has no plans to remove Zanganeh from his post.

“There is no change in the government’s work program. Zanganeh has always been active and is one of the key ministers of the government,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei said.

“Zanganeh’s name has always been mentioned for impeachment but I hope Zanganeh continues his role in the government. Zanganeh’s role at this time is important and parliamentarians have to help.”

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and partners including Russia, an alliance known as OPEC+, have been considering since last month moving the date of their policy meeting in Vienna to July 3-4 from June 25-26.

Russia’s Alexander Novak favors postponing the meeting to early July to avoid clashing with G20 discussions in Japan in late June, while the Iranian minister Zanganeh, wants to keep the original schedule, sources have said.

OPEC and its allies have been reducing oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day since Jan. 1 to support the market.

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