Iran's oil minister said Monday that OPEC nations should not change their crude output targets at their upcoming meeting in Vienna.
Masoud Mirkazemi told reporters on the anniversary of the 1951 nationalization of Iran's oil industry that the world should expect oil prices to remain at around $80 per barrel this year.
"The idea of Islamic Republic of Iran is not to increase production and OPEC should not take any decision to change production," he said. "We estimate that we can expect an oil price of $80 per barrel for this year."
Mirkazemi's remarks come as the 12-member group, which supplies about a third of the world's crude, is set to meet March 17. Analysts do not expect a change in production targets.
A day earlier, Mirkazemi was quoted on the Oil Ministry's Web site as saying that OPEC members should push for greater compliance with their existing output quotas, citing an oversupply of oil in the world.
Iran, a hawkish member of the group, traditionally pushes for higher prices.
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