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Iran Economy Minister Likely to Go to OPEC

Service : Economy
TEHRAN, May 31 (ICANA) – Iran's Economy Minister Shamseddin Hosseini will "most likely" be the country's representative at the next OPEC meeting, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 9:59:40 PM
Iran Economy Minister Likely to Go to OPEC

Mehr also said Iran was "corresponding with OPEC to introduce Hosseini."

Iran currently holds the rotating presidency of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Earlier this month, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed Oil Minister Massoud Mirkazemi and two other ministers as part of a plan to merge several ministries to cut their number to 17 from 21.

He later surprised his political rivals by announcing he would take over the portfolio as a caretaker, meaning he will also represent Iran at the OPEC meeting on June 8 in Vienna.

However, the Guardian Council said Ahmadinejad had no legal right to oversee the post.

The president retreated and it was announced that one of his cabinet ministers will attend the OPEC meeting.

Many conservative politicians and analysts said Ahmadinejad wanted to take over Iran's lucrative oil and gas industry as a move aimed at controlling the country's petro-dollars.

By law the president has three months after removing a minister to introduce a new candidate to parliament.

Many conservatives have criticized Ahmadinejad for endangering Iran's presidency of OPEC.

"After 30 years, Iran had been able to hold OPEC's presidency and this position should not be harmed in the shadow of some executive issues," spokesman for Parliament's Energy committee Emad Hosseini said.

"OPEC does not recognize anyone other than the oil or energy ministers of the member countries. Sending another minister... to the organization's next meeting might harm Iran's presidency."

Iran has said it is content with oil prices around current levels, unlike some other members of the producer group who would prefer it to be cheaper to relieve any threat to longer term demand. OPEC pumps more than a third of the world's oil.

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