| 6 December 2023, Wednesday |

OPEC plans no immediate action after Iran urges Israel oil embargo, sources say

Following Iran’s foreign minister’s request for members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to impose an oil embargo and other penalties on Israel, OPEC is not going to host an exceptional meeting or take any urgent action, four sources within the producer group told Reuters.

Hossein Amirabdollahian, the foreign minister of Iran, urged OIC members to remove all Israeli diplomats and apply penalties against Israel, including an oil embargo.

Four sources from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which produces a third of the world’s oil and includes several Muslim countries including Iran, said that no immediate action or emergency meetings were planned by the group in light of Iran’s comments.

“We are not a political organisation,” one of the sources said.

On Tuesday, the Gulf Cooperation Council secretary-general when asked whether Arab countries should reduce oil production in retaliation for Israel’s actions in Gaza, said that the GCC was committed to energy security and shouldn’t use oil as a weapon.

“The GCC works as a clear and honest partner as an oil exporter with the international community and we can’t use that as a weapon in any way possible,” Jasem al-Budaiwi said.

In 1973, Arab producers led by Saudi Arabia slapped an oil embargo on Western supporters of Israel in its war with Egypt, targeting Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Britain and the United States.

Oil prices spiked as a result but over the longer term the crisis led to the development of new oil provinces outside the Middle East like the North Sea and deepwater assets, and encouraged alternative energy.

  • Reuters