- Sources: Saudi Offer to Cut Oil Production if Iran Caps Output
- Airbus Representatives in Tehran Next Week Over Stalled Deal
Iran’s President Rouhani used his speech to the UN General Assembly on Thursday to continue the regime’s denunciation of Saudi Arabia.
Rouhani opened by invoking Al Qa’eda’s attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 — “15 years have passed since the painful terrorist attack in this city” — and linked groups facing Iran in the Middle East to the Islamic State: “terrorists even went as far as claiming to have established States in the Levant, Iraq and Libya…spreading extremist and Takfiri propaganda”.
Then he turned against the Saudis, citing the crises in Syria and Yemen:
Certain countries must stop bombing their neighbours, and abandon supporting Takfiri terrorist groups; and, while accepting responsibility, try to compensate for past mistakes.
If the Saudi government is serious about its vision for development and regional security, it must cease and desist from divisive policies, spread of hate ideology and trampling upon the rights of neighbors, accept its responsibility for the protection of the lives and dignity of pilgrims, and construct its relations with the nations in the region on the basis of mutual respect and accountability.
The President’s speech continues the burial of his foreign policy of “engagement”, at least with Riyadh, amid the escalation of Iranian-Saudi tension. Last week Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif used a column in The New York Times to equate the Saudi monarchy with Al Qa’eda, after Rouhani — following the Supreme Leader’s criticism of the Saudis — accused Riyadh of crimes in the region and supporting terrorism, shedding Muslims’ blood in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, and bombarding innocent women and children in Yemen.
At the same time, Rouhani appealed to others in the UN with his proclamation of Iranian leadership for dialogue for progress and against extremism:
Iran’s principled approach calls for constructive partnership with our neighbours with a view to establishing an enduring order based on shared security and efforts aimed at enhancing the development of the countries in the region and mutually beneficial economic cooperation. To uproot violence in the region, there is no choice but to focus on promoting democracy, citizenship rights, and economic development.
Rouhani: US “Lack of Compliance” on Nuclear Deal
Rouhani’s other main line was the promotion of the July 2015 nuclear deal, pressing the US to lift financial restrictions which continue despite the agreement:
To learn lessons from the JCPOA [the agreement] and put them towards improving international relations, we should never forget that pressures, sanctions and illegal threats, which sought to fully dismantle Iran ’s enrichment program, were all defeated….
The US is fully aware that JCPOA constitutes a recognized multilateral agreement, and any failure on the part of the United States in implementing it would constitute an international wrongful act and would be objected to by the international community. Any failure in implementing the JCPOA will further erode the credibility of the United States in the world. The lack of compliance with the JCPOA on the part of the United States in the past several months represents a flawed approach that should be rectified forthwith.
The President cited a US Supreme Court decision in March which froze $2 billion in Iranian assets, allowing families of victims of terrorism to sue for compensation.
Rouhani did not mention conditions within Iran which have also hindered post-agreement development, including opposition to his approach by the Supreme Leader and the Revolutionary Guards, debate over arrangements for investement by foreign oil companies, and issues with Iranian regulations and its financial and banking system.
Instead, defying ongoing difficulties with recovery, he proclaimed:
The economy of Iran, as the most secure and most profitable investment destination in the region, is showing clear improvement. Iran ‘s economic growth rate surpassed 4% in spring 2016, the inflation rate dropped to single digits, and Iran has come close to pre-sanction level of oil production and export. All in all, we are witnessing more development in the economic, scientific and technological fields in Iran.
Sources: Saudi Offer to Cut Oil Production if Iran Caps Output
Four sources have said that Saudi Arabia is offering to reduce oil production if Iran freezes its own output.
The sources said the offer, made ahead of a meeting of OPEC members and Russia next week, has yet to be accepted or rejected by Tehran.
A source said the meeting in Algeria is only “for consultations” but it could set out the lines of a deal ahead of OPEC’s formal gathering in Vienna at the end of November.
Iranian production has recovered, since January’s implementation of the July 2015 nuclear deal, to 3.6 million barrels per day. Exports have rebounded by 40% to about 2 million bpd.
Iran’s officials have said they want to increase farther to the levels before US and European sanctions took full effect in 2012.
OPEC members have discussed the freeze because of the sharp fall in global prices from about $120 per barrel in 2014 to a low of $27 per barrel earlier this year. The price is now about $45.
However, Tehran has held out against any restriction of its production, even as it is calling for an oil price of $55 per barrel.
Airbus Representatives in Tehran Next Week Over Stalled Deal
Representatives of France’s Airbus will visit Tehran next week to discuss Iran’s stalled purchase of 118 civilian aircraft, according to Deputy Road and Urban Development Minister Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan.
Iran announced the $27 billion deal as President Rouhani visited France in January, just after implementation of the July 2015 nuclear deal. However, completion has been stalled over delays in US licenses, required because the planes have American components.
An Iranian official said earlier this week that Tehran would reduce the purchase to 112 planes, as six scheduled for delivery this year will not arrive.