Iran marks 50th anniversary of OPEC

11:32, April 20, 2011      

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Iran's Oil Minister Massoud Mirkazemi speaks during a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), in Tehran, Iran, April 19, 2011. (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)

Ceremony was held in Tehran on Tuesday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the presence of local and international officials.

Addressing a gathering in Tehran to celebrate the occasion, Iran's Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi said that OPEC can play a crucial role in creating balance in supply and demand of energy in the market.

The managerial role of OPEC in the market can also lead to stability in the market and can protect the rights of its member states, said Mirkazemi. The cooperation and friendship of all the member states is also the requirement for market stability of energy.

Mirkazemi pointed out in order for the balance of the market to be secured, the oil market should be free from any political motives.

Politicizing the oil market is aimed at imposing some restrictions on some OPEC member states which is not "logical' and will threaten global energy security in the future, said the minister.

One of the major concerns of the oil producers is "uncertainty of investments in oil sector" due to the global financial crisis and monetary behavior of some countries, he said.

The G-7, a group of seven industrialized nations including France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, can reduce taxes on their oil products in a bid to help confront the global financial crisis, the minister added.

The taxes that the G-7 receives from their oil products exceed the whole income of the 12-member OPEC cartel from its oil exports, said Mirkazemi.

The anniversary ceremony was held in Tehran in the presence of senior Iranian and foreign officials, foreign ambassadors along with OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem el-Badri and OPEC Chairman Masoud Mirkazemi.

Addressing the ceremony, el-Badri described Iran's role as important to OPEC in terms of its constructive activities.

The Islamic Republic has made remarkable attempts to institutionalize OPEC and has played a major role in achievements for the organization.

Despite the crises in the region and fluctuations in the oil market, OPEC has been successful to overcome the challenges, said el-Badri.

On the increase in the crude price in the market, OPEC Secretary General said that further increase in crude prices is likely due to the recent developments in a number of oil producing countries in the Middle-East and North Africa.

He pointed out that the OPEC member states will try to compensate for any possible shortage in supply.

With the 50 years of experience and with the cooperation of its members, OPEC has now overcome the problems and has control over the market and intends to push ahead, said el-Badri.

OPEC, created at the Baghdad Conference in 1960, is an intergovernmental organization of 12 developing countries: Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

Source: Xinhua

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