OREANDA-NEWS. Iran wants to regain a 13pc share of Opec production and is not ready to freeze its crude output.

"At the current levels we are not ready to freeze," Iran's oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said. Asked if Iran wants to regain its pre-sanctions share of Opec's total output — around 12.7pc — Zanganeh said: "Yes, this is our idea." Opec's output in August was a record 33.44mn b/d, so a 12.7pc share would put Iranian production at around 4.3mn b/d.

The minister's remarks emphasise Iran's long-term position as a proponent of Opec production restraints, whether by means of individual country quotas or an overall ceiling. In a criticism of Saudi Arabia and its allies, he said "We has always backed Opec's role in the market," adding, "Some have prevented Opec functioning in the past two years and have turned the organisation into a [discussion] forum in practice." It also underpins Iran's insistence that it should reclaim the market share that it lost during the 2012-2016 US and EU sanctions. "Of course; the main goal for us is our share," the minister said.

Zanganeh said he regards the informal producer meeting being held on the sidelines of the International Energy Forum (IEF) in Algiers tomorrow to be consultative only.

"It is not on our agenda to reach an agreement in these two days because we have no Opec meeting. We are here for the IEF and to have an informal consultative meeting with Opec to exchange views. Not more."

"But I hope we can cook something for [the Opec meeting in] November," he said.