OPEC unlikely be able to appoint new secretary general: Iran

Tehran (Platts)--9Sep2013/1136 am EDT/1536 GMT


Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said Monday it was unlikely that OPEC would be able to appoint a new secretary general to run the group's Vienna secretariat when it makes another attempt in December to fill the post, parliamentary news service icana.ir reported.

OPEC has so far failed to agree on a successor to Libyan Abdalla el-Badri, whose second three-year term as secretary general ended on December 31, 2012, but who was asked to remain in the post for an additional year.

The choice of a secretary general must be unanimous, which has frequently resulted in stalemate because of ongoing rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran for the job and, eventually and after much delay, the emergence of a compromise candidate.

"I think it's unlikely that Iran can take the secretary general [post]. Not only Iran, neither can other countries take the position," Zanganeh was quoted as saying.

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"Because the post has been locked. Even though a committee has been set up in this organization to decide on the secretary general position and examine the issue, I am not very optimistic that it will be able to reach a result," he said.

"The secretary general post is a secondary issue for us and it doesn't play a big role in OPEC, but it doesn't mean that we let go of our right to be overlooked," he added.

Iran has nominated Gholamhossein Nozari, who served as oil minister for two years from August 2007, as its candidate to replace Badri, a former Libyan oil minister. Saudi Arabia has nominated its former OPEC governor, Majid al-Moneef. Iraq has nominated former oil minister Thamer Ghadban.

--Aresu Eqbali, newsdesk@platts.com
--Edited by Margaret McQuaile, margaret.mcquaile@platts.com; Katharine Fraser, katharine.fraser@platts.com

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