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Iran Says Oil Market Will Suffer If Its Exports Disrupted

Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Any disruptions to Iran’s oil exports would create “severe problems” for the global crude market, Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said in an interview broadcast by Al Jazeera television.

Iran will seek a “fair price” for crude when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meets next on Dec. 14, Qasemi said, adding that the global market for crude does not face a shortage.

“There is currently no need to use oil as a political tool,” he said in the interview posted yesterday on the news channel’s website. “In case we are urged to and feel it is necessary, we will use it as a political tool.”

Iran, the second-biggest producer in OPEC, has come under increasing pressure from the U.S. and its allies, which accuse the country of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran’s government rejects the claim, saying it wants nuclear technology to provide energy for a growing population.

Qasemi told the broadcaster his nation see no threat to its crude production or obstacles to its exports and will continue to supply enough oil to world markets. The country holds 154.8 billion barrels in crude reserves, he said.

OPEC’s last meeting in June ended without an agreement on output quotas after Iran and five other members rejected a proposal by Saudi Arabia, the group’s largest producer, for the group to raise output by 1.5 million barrels a day. OPEC pumped 30.14 million barrels a day in October, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony DiPaola in Dubai at adipaola@bloomberg.net; Ladane Nasseri in Tehran at lnasseri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bruce Stanley at bstanley5@bloomberg.net

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