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25 May 2004 -- Iran is backing a "limited increase" in production from oil exporting countries to help reduce oil prices.

But Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on state television today that Iran's support of a production increase does not go beyond what he calls the "usual limits." He did not elaborate.

Iran is the second-biggest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) after Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia intends to boost crude output by 10 percent beginning in June. But other oil producers have been reluctant to take similar action.

Oil prices yesterday surged to a new record, settling at $41.72 per barrel. The surging energy prices are seen as a potential threat to the global economic recovery.

(AFP)
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