Monday, 16 January 2012

Iran warns “Arab neighbour countries” against boosting oil production

Following a joint request by the US and the EU to curb its oil production, Iran has warned Gulf nations against boosting their energy generation.

According to Sharq daily newspaper Iran's representative to Opec Mohammad Ali Khatibi said "our Arab neighbour countries should not co-operate" with the US and European countries. He continued that any such move would not be perceived as "friendly", adding that if they give "the green light to replacing Iran's oil these countries would be the main culprits for whatever happens in the region - including the Strait of Hormuz".

US has been seeking the support of Asian nations – some of the biggest investors in Iran including, China, India, Japan and South Korea – to encourage Tehran to reduce its oil exports and abide by the sanctions.

The oil needs of these fast pace developing countries are growing equally as rapidly and thus cuts in imports from Tehran have to be substituted by an increased supply from other sources.

China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has recently held talks with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, China's biggest oil supplier. At the same time, South Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik visited the region over the weekend, meeting leaders in Oman and the United Arab Emirates to discuss oil.

Although Asian nations are yet to make or announce cuts in oil imports from Iran, there are already fears of shortfalls. Not only that many are worried about the fact that Iran's supplies may not be substituted with another source, which will mean an increase in prices.

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, WSJ

For more news and expert analysis about Iran, please see Iran Strategic Focus.

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