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Iran Calls Proposed Oil-Output Freeze ‘Ridiculous’

Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh has dismissed a proposal by Russia and three OPEC members to freeze oil production as "ridiculous."

Zanganeh said on February 23 that the proposal by Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Qatar for crude oil producers to cap production at January levels puts "unrealistic demands" on Iran.

Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Qatar are seeking to halt a 40 percent drop in oil prices over the past year caused by a global crude glut, while Tehran is planning to increase output by 1 million barrels a day this year after international sanctions against Iran were lifted last month.

"Some neighboring countries have increased their production over the years to 10 million barrels per day (bpd) and export this amount, then say let's all freeze our oil production," Zanganeh said. "They freeze production at 10 million bpd and we freeze at 1 million bpd."

Based on reporting by AFP and Bloomberg