Saturday, August 26, 2006

Iran has right to OPEC sec-gen post - oil minister

Iran's oil minister has said the country believes the position of OPEC secretary general is its right, but does not seek confrontation to get the position, Iran's official news agency IRNA reported on Saturday.

There has been a row between Iran and Kuwait over which country's candidate should be appointed secretary-general, the administrative head who represents the organisation and helps coordinate policy talks among members.

OPEC's president, Nigerian Edmund Daokoru, discussed the issue when he toured a number of Middle Eastern OPEC countries last month.

"We see the OPEC secretary-generalship as our right and we intend to obtain our right, but we do not want a confrontation," Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh, Iran's oil minister, was quoted by IRNA as saying. READ MORE

"Regarding the issue, solutions have been reserved to be used in the next OPEC meeting (through which) we hope to reach our goals," Hamaneh said.

Iran is the second biggest producer in the cartel after Saudi Arabia, but has been denied the position of OPEC secretary general since the Islamic Revolution took over the country in 1979.

OPEC has been unable to reach agreement on the secretary-general post since December 2003, when the term of Venezuela's Alvaro Silva ended.

Acting secretaries-general have served since then, with Nigeria's Mohammed Barkindo now in the post.

The selection process often exposes political divisions between core Gulf members.