Iran calls for emergency OPEC meeting ahead of embargo


The reactor building at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran, 750 miles south of Tehran.


Majid Asgaripour

Iran's oil minister Rostam Ghasemi said current market value of oil has become "illogical" and called for an emergency OPEC meeting, the Associated Press reported.

The BBC reported the comments come a day before a comprehensive EU oil embargo on Iran goes into effect on July 1.

According to the New York Times, the US imposed new sanctions on Iran three days ago that could punish any nation that purchases Iranian oil. However, 20 nations were given waivers, the Times reported, in exchange for "significantly reducing" their imports from Tehran.

Those countries include China, India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan.

According to the AP, Iran's Mehr news agency quoted Ghasemi, as saying that at a recent meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries member states agreed to hold an emergency meeting if oil prices fell below $100 per barrel.

On Friday, brent crude fell to $95.51 per barrel in London.

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Iran is the second largest producer of OPEC and earns some 80 percent of its foreign revenue from exporting crude, the AP wrote.

Recent US and Western sanctions brought on by concerns about Iran's nuclear program have hit Tehran hard. The New York Times reported Iran admitted last week its exports were already down some 20 to 30 percent.

According to Mehr, Iran's central bank governor, Mahmoud Bahmani said Iran could "easily" sell its oil despite the sanctions to those who had been granted waivers to buy Iranian oil.