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Iranian Leader Calls For Cooperation With Russia, Iraq On Energy

A top adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is calling for closer ties with Russia, Iraq, and Venezuela on energy matters.

"In the energy sector, Iran and Russia should feel no rivalry and must cooperate with each other," Ali Akbar Velayati said on a visit to Moscow February 3. "Our position is that such countries like Iran, Russia, Venezuela and Iraq...should have more contacts and consultations on the energy market."

Russia has been calling for increased coordination with the OPEC oil cartel, where Iran is a top producer, including possible oil output cuts to try to break the precipitous 75 percent fall in oil prices since 2014.

However, Iran's efforts to rapidly ramp up production since economic sanctions were lifted last month have been blamed for much of this year's plunge in prices. Iran has strongly resisted any efforts to cut output.

Venezuela has been leading efforts in OPEC to try to curb production through consultations with Russia and other producers outside the cartel.

With major producers like Russia, Iran, and Iraq pumping crude full-tilt, analysts say the global oil glut that is behind the price drop is unlikely to go away.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and TASS