Iran’s state oil company NIOC platform. (Photo credit: SHANA / Hassan Hoseini).
The Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji stated on 5 September that the world, especially Europe, is in a current energy and oil crisis and highlighted that Iran has always been ready to contribute and prevent such problems.
The Iranian Petro Energy Information Network (SHANA) interviewed the minister after a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+).
“The global oil market is in a fragile state,” said Minister Owji after the meeting, saying that proof of this is the high crude oil prices in recent months. According to the Iranian official, “the price of natural gas in some European gas hubs … is equivalent to the oil price of more than 400 dollars per barrel.”
Several European countries have been looking for alternatives to Gas and other energy sources ahead of the cold winter months. Oil and petroleum derivatives are among their first options.
“This is a reality that increasing gas prices in the European market are pushing consumers to use oil and oil products and it will be very likely that demand for crude oil will increase on the continent,” stated Javad Owji.
Europe ceased importing Iranian crude oil in 2018 when the United States imposed sanctions on Iran after deciding to unilaterally withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.
For months, the European Union (EU) has engaged to revive the JCPOA. The EU has been leading indirect talks between Iran and the US to revive the deal. Talks between Tehran and the remaining signatories of the JCPOA – France, Germany, the UK, Russia, and China – have lasted for 16 months now.
Analysts believe that success in ongoing talks between Iran and world powers to resurrect the JCPOA will help alleviate a global energy crisis that has been radically exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
According to the Iranian Oil Minister, Iran has “always declared that we are ready to contribute to our role in the supply of oil and oil products and to improve energy security in the world by avoiding politicization of oil and the political use of energy. The global energy market needs to increase the supply of oil and natural gas from Iran.”
However, the US has been reluctant to give Iran solid assurances. US ally Israel has also repeatedly attempted to sabotage the negotiations. Israel wants to not only “permanently curtail” Iran’s nuclear energy program but also end its “militancy” in the region, as well as its ballistic missile program.
During a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos last May, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that Israel’s efforts to sabotage the negotiations are holding “the national interests of the United States hostage.”