Expert cites Saudi-U.S. ties as reason for OPEC+ surprise output cuts

SHANA (Tehran) – Former OPEC affairs head of the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum cited two economic and political factors as main reasons behind the recent OPEC+ surprise decision to cut oil output.

Talking to SHANA, Javad Yarjani added economic concerns prompted OPEC and OPEC+ oil producers to announce voluntary cuts to their production amounting to 1.66 million barrels per day as of May.

“In fact, the falling demand after winter and slumping oil prices were the understandable reason behind the move to prevent them,” the expert noted.

He, however, pointed to political developments, adding decisions made by high-ranking officials on issues beyond economic interests have impacts on the oil sector.

Saudi-U.S. relations have undergone changes since Joe Biden took office, mentioned Yarjani, continuing Biden has repeatedly faced censure from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Most policies adopted and dictated by the Trump administration were undisputedly carried out in Saudi Arabia, opined former Iranian official, adding but complications have arisen since Biden became president.

For instance, he recalled, the Biden administration had demanded Saudi Arabia lift the economic siege of Qatar, but Riyadh paid no heed to, casting a shadow over Saudi-U.S. relations.

Elaborating on the special status Saudi Arabia enjoys in the oil market due to its high output and exports, he stated, “Saudi Arabia has the last word, as its main rivals, Iran and Venezuela, do not have a strong presence in the market now.”

Yarjani also referred to the next U.S. presidential election as another factor behind the recent OPEC+ decision, explaining that it is very important to Saudi Arabia which party would win in the U.S. presidential race.

The expert, who is convinced that Riyadh is making every effort through getting information and support from its advisers and friends in the U.S. to prevent Biden’s reelection in the presidential poll, said, “Last year, when the U.S. was about to hold midterm elections, Biden officially demanded Saudi Arabia increase the oil output to curb the growing prices, but Riyadh did exactly the opposite, as oil price has a direct impact on gasoline price in the U.S. which, in turn, directly affects Americans’ voting.”

News ID 470763


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