Oct 2 (Reuters) – The energy market must be non-political in order to prevent interference, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Wednesday, according to the official IRNA news agency.
“The energy market must be non-political in order to prevent unilateral and illegal interference,” Zanganeh said upon arrival in Moscow for a meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).
Zanganeh said he would be willing to meet the oil minister of regional rival Saudi Arabia while in Moscow but that the Saudis have a problem with meeting.
The United States, European powers and Saudi Arabia have blamed an attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities on Sept. 14 on Iran, a charge Tehran denies.
Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which temporarily knocked out more than 5% of global oil production and sent petroleum prices spiking higher.
Saudi Arabia overstated the damage done by the attacks, Zanganeh said.
“I never believed that with this attack half of the oil production of Saudi Arabia was made unavailable,” he said, according to IRNA.
“I think Saudi Arabia has resorted to political exaggeration about this in order to say that the energy security of the world has been put in danger.”
(Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Kenneth Maxwell)