Iran’s oil minister warned that OPEC is in danger of collapse as some nations seek to undermine their fellow members, an apparent reference to Saudi Arabia’s pledge to fill the supply gap created by U.S. sanctions on Iranian exports.
"Iran is a member of OPEC for its interests and any threat from member states won’t go unanswered," Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said after a meeting with OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo in Tehran on Thursday, according to the oil ministry’s Shana news agency.
His comments come as U.S. President Donald Trump tries to cut the Islamic Republic’s oil exports to zero, backed by a promise from Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies to increase production to ensure the squeeze doesn’t create a supply shortage.
Those countries boosted production last year as the first round of American sanctions hit Iran, without splitting the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. This year, however, Iran is under even greater pressure, with fewer options to keep its economy afloat.
Zanganeh had already censured "two neighboring states" for voicing readiness to fill the gap of Iranian barrels in the market. "I told Mr. Barkindo that OPEC is in danger by the unilateralism of some members and the organization faces the risk of collapse," he said on Thursday, stopping short of naming names.