Iran welcomes Saudi proposal for oil meeting
TEHRAN - Iran welcomes a proposal by Saudi Arabia for a meeting between oil producers and consumers, Iran's semi-official Mehr News Agency said on Tuesday, citing the Islamic Republic's OPEC governor.
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia said on Monday it will soon call for such a meeting to discuss what it called the unjustified rise in prices.
"Iran welcomes the Saudi ... proposal," Mehr said in a headline of an interview with Mohammad Ali Khatibi, Iran's representative to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Mehr said Khatibi called the proposal positive. Khatibi on Monday said that oil's rise had nothing to do with a supply shortage and there was no reason for OPEC to hold an emergency meeting.
He was quoted by Mehr as saying: "We have to bear in mind that the oil market's problems must be dealt with in a fundamental way and not just deal with the market's present condition."
He said such a fundamental solution required sincere cooperation between consumers and producers, Mehr said.
"The conditions and atmosphere for such cooperation should be brought about. Otherwise no one party is on its own able to solve the oil market's problems," Khatibi said.
Oil jumped over $10 on Friday to more than $139 a barrel, partly on U.S. dollar weakness and rising tension between Israel and Iran, the world's fourth-largest exporter.
Oil producers and consumers met in Rome in April but failed to produce any concrete measures to tame high oil prices that have since surged as much as $20 a barrel.
Consumer governments have put pressure on OPEC, supplier of more than a third of the world's oil, to boost output to ease the effect of high oil prices on their economies.
OPEC blames factors beyond its control, including speculation and political tension, for the price rises.