Iran's Chairmanship over OPEC
The first secretary general of OPEC, who was inaugurated in 1961,
was an Iranian who retained that post until 1964.
When Perez Alfonso, the then
Venezuelan minister of oil, proposed Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq to
establish an organization of petroleum exporting countries, no oil major
believed that a new player was entering the oil game.
oil producing countries from Asia and Latin America agreed to launch OPEC in a
private meeting. The organization came into being in 1960, just a year after
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has more than 12 members
and last year celebrated its 50th anniversary. The second half
century of OPEC's life has begun with Iran at its helm.
taken charge of OPEC at a time that the organization is in control of 60
percent of the world's oil reserves and this has been a great achievement for
the Iranian diplomacy in 2011.
founder and supporter of OPEC
oil shocks in 1973 and 1986, the international oil market has seen emergence
of a new player called OPEC, which came into being with players from Asia
and Latin America in
Baghdad. Iran was quite famous among the oil producing countries because, it
was among big exporters of crude oil. On the other hand, it was among founders
of the OPEC.
not easy to launch OPEC as its founders were not quite ready to run it.
National Iranian Oil Company and Iran's Ministry of Economic Affairs and
Finance played axial role in launching the organization. Iran and Venezuela
were the sole countries among founders with national oil companies which were
involved in exploration, production, refining and distribution of oil and its
products. When secretariat of OPEC opened in Geneva, it was organized by the
outset, member countries did not have solid information on each other and Iran
was assigned to gather necessary information. This was also done by experts of
the National Iranian Oil Company that made frequent trips to Saudi Arabia,
Venezuela, Kuwait and Iraq.
Many Western politicians maintain that OPEC members are to blame for
high prices, but even if true, OPEC has been also a great force in
organizing the market.
Therefore, Iran was not only a founder of OPEC, but did a lot to get it
organized. Its role has been pivotal in protecting the rights of oil producing
countries. Five decades later, OPEC has 12 members and controls 40 percent of
global oil output. It has been greatly successful in setting balanced oil
prices in the past decades. Though consuming countries were not ready to
recognize it at the beginning, after a decade, it gained international
secretary general of OPEC, who was inaugurated in 1961, was an Iranian who
retained that post until 1964. Iran has hosted three conferences of OPEC in
1961 (3rd conference), 1971 (22nd conference) and 2005
(135th conference). The country has been chairing OPEC nine times
and was elected for the 10th time to that post in 2011, though
after lapse of 36 years.
influence on oil market
many views about achievements and failures of OPEC, but on the whole, it has
been among the most successful international organizations.
analysts maintain that in absence of a number of big oil exporting countries
(which are developed states), OPEC has been facing challenges.
example, critics maintain that as OPEC cuts down output in time of crisis,
non-OPEC producers raise production, thus preventing the organization from
achieving its goal.
however, is still playing an effective role in setting market trends. In times
of economic crises, OPEC has been able to create stability.
words, consuming countries have always looked to OPEC in time of crisis to
overcome challenges by managing production.
oil prices are currently determined though market mechanisms and according to
dealings in speculative and real markets, OPEC's policies still affect global
moved to interact with consuming countries in the past half a century and has
constantly balanced global prices.
Western politicians maintain that OPEC members are to blame for high prices,
but even if true, OPEC has been also a great force in organizing the market.
Preventing oil shocks, doing away with monopoly of oil majors (like Seven
Sisters) on the market, and controlling oil resources to gain logical revenues
are just part of OPEC's positive role in the market.
connecting members to international organizations
is currently working with most international organizations. They include the
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Bank,
and the International Monetary Fund. During the past five decades, OPEC has
expanded cooperation with developed states to elevate standards of living in
ongoing dialogue between OPEC and other producers as well as many energy
consuming organizations such as the International Energy Forum, the
International Energy Agency, and the Gas Exporting Countries Forum all attest
to the importance of the organization in international system. OPEC has been
protecting the interests of member countries in addition to those
chairmanship over the biggest oil exporting organization
taken charge of the organization at the time of its peak power. The
achievement was outcome of effective energy diplomacy adopted by Iran. This is
also important because of rising demand and increasing prices which call for
better management of international oil market by an organization which is
currently playing a more effective role in managing that market.
other member countries maintain that OPEC has been a great success in the past
50 years. It is also great to be at the helm of the organization which can
produce more than 30 million barrels of oil per day.
have shown different reactions to
chairmanship of OPEC.
G L Group
Institute has reported that
as chair of OPEC, can greatly influence the oil market.
noted that Iran can also make structural changes to OPEC. G L Group maintains
that chairmanship of OPEC will also increase Iran's political clout at
international level. The institute announced that OPEC, under chairmanship of
Iran, was supposed to raise its share of international oil production from 40
percent to 46 percent in 2011.
American officials have got ready to start negotiations with OPEC to see the
results of Iran's chairmanship over the organization.
Welle announced that all important sessions of OPEC in 2011, especially its
important annual meeting with the European Union will be presided over by
Welle has judged that Iran's chairmanship over OPEC is generally positive.
countries maintain that Iran's chairmanship of OPEC will raise global oil
prices to 100 barrels per day in 2011.