Iran will not follow in the footsteps of OPEC and Russia as they plan to freeze oil output. Instead, the country plans to pump an additional one million barrels of oil per day.
“Iran is not the cause for this turmoil,” Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen on Sunday.
“We do not intend to sanction ourselves again after coming out of the sanctions,” he added.
As oil has flirted with sub-$30 per barrel prices, Iran has been a focal point for many oil producing countries who have worried that its daily increase in oil will allow the oil supply glut to continue.
“We want to increase our production to the level we used to produce prior to the sanctions,” Zamaninia told CNN. “And at that time, then we can get together and discuss and strategize for the future.”
Oil prices have fallen by 70% since mid-2014, forcing many economies to fall into disarray while causing layoffs for hundreds of thousands of oil workers.
Five of OPEC’s 13 — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar and Venezuela — and non-OPEC producer Russia, agreed earlier this month to keep output steady at January’s levels.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh called the oil freeze a “joke.”
Iran in the meantime admits that sanctions placed on the country over the last several years have made it less dependent on oil than many of its neighboring oil producers.