Iran wants emergency OPEC meeting

July 3, 2012 at 8:24 AM

TEHRAN, July 3 (UPI) -- Iran's oil minister said he wants to hold an extraordinary meeting with members of the OPEC cartel in an effort to control downward trends in crude oil prices.

U.S. and European sanctions targeting Iranian oil exports went into force last weekend. Iran is among the top five oil producers among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Despite sanctions, oil prices Monday sank further below $100 per barrel on weak manufacturing data from the U.S. and Chinese economies. The ongoing economic crisis in Europe continues to drag on oil prices.

Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi called on OPEC to hold an extraordinary meeting to address falling oil prices.

Tehran is considered a price hawk, lobbying for a price above $100 per barrel.

He told the Oil Ministry's Petroenergy Information Network consistency is needed among OPEC members to ensure market stability.

"If OPEC members don't observe agreed production ceiling it will be followed by disorder in oil markets," he said.

Saudi Arabia was one of the major oil-producing countries that stepped in to provide a buffer against the drop in Iranian crude from the market. Some governments have restricted Iranian crude oil imports in an effort to protect themselves against sanctions.

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