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Ahmadinejad Likely to Chair OPEC Meeting

Service : Economy
TEHRAN, May 16 (ICANA) – Iran's Governor at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Mohammad Ali Khatibi said that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is likely to chair the next meeting of the world oil cartel after he announced that he would take care of the oil ministry's affairs for now.
Monday, May 16, 2011 10:13:59 PM
Ahmadinejad Likely to Chair OPEC Meeting

"As he is the caretaker of the ministry, he may attend the (ministerial) meeting," Khatibi told AFP in a phone interview on Monday.

"But it is not customary... the president usually takes part in summits," Khatibi said, adding he was "expecting" the president to appoint a representative for the upcoming meeting.

Iran, OPEC's second largest crude exporter, currently holds the presidency of the cartel, a position it is holding for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Last night, Ahmadinejad said he has temporarily assumed the duties of the oil ministry as the cabinet is experiencing mergers of several ministries.

"For now, I myself am the caretaker of the oil ministry," Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech late Sunday.

On Saturday, Ahmadinejad dismissed oil minister Massoud Mir-Kazemi, alongside two other ministers, whose portfolios are expected to be merged with other departments as part of a cabinet streamlining.

Then on Sunday, he appointed caretakers for the industry and social affairs ministries, but did not name anyone for the oil ministry which is to be integrated with the energy portfolio.

His decision to take charge of Iran's most-strategic sector came shortly before the 159th OPEC meeting scheduled for June 8 in Vienna, where the oil producers are represented by their ministers.

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