TEHRAN, (Reuters) – A dispute between Iran and Kuwait over whose candidate should be the next OPEC secretary-general will be discussed at an OPEC meeting this month but no consensus is likely to be reached, a senior Iranian oil official said.
Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said in August that Iran believed the position of OPEC secretary general was its right but would not seek confrontation to get the job. OPEC next meets on Sept. 11 in Vienna.
“In the next meeting, this issue (of the secretary-general position) will be discussed but it does not mean that the members will reach an understanding,” Iran’s OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told reporters.
“The discussion over the issue of the secretary-general of OPEC has been going on a long time. So far, there has been no consensus and it doesn’t seem that at the next meeting there will be a consensus over this issue among the members,” he said.
Iran and Kuwait both want their candidates to become the secretary-general, the administrative head who represents the organization and helps co-ordinate policy talks among members.
But OPEC has been unable to reach agreement on the post since December 2003, when the term of Venezuela’s Alvaro Silva ended. Acting secretaries-general have served since then, with Nigeria’s Mohammed Barkindo now holding the post.
OPEC’s president, Nigerian Edmund Daukoru, said he had made some progress when he discussed the issue in Tehran in July.
Daukoru said on Wednesday he hoped to settle the issue in Vienna.
Iran is the second-biggest producer in the cartel after Saudi Arabia, but has been denied the position of OPEC secretary general since the Islamic Revolution took over the country in 1979.