October 21, 2010
Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries during their regular meeting in Vienna last week said Iranian Oil Minister Masoud Mir Kazemi would take over the rotating presidency of the cartel in March. The OPEC presidency term is for one year.
Mark Toner, a deputy spokesman for the State Department, told reporters during his regular press briefing that OPEC members need to put pressure on Tehran.
“We would look for the other members of OPEC to remind Iran that it could play a more constructive role in the region,” he said. “And certainly, that’s probably going to be a topic of our discussions bilaterally with individual members of OPEC.”
The United States isn’t a member of OPEC, which controls oil production quotas from major oil-producing nations in an effort to influence the price of crude.
The United States and the European Union in July imposed unilateral sanctions on the Iranian energy sector because they feel Tehran isn’t cooperating with the international community in regards to its nuclear program.
Iran claims the No. 3 spot in world crude reserves.