Oil refinery (2)

Iran will not be joining the coalition of nations that have agreed to freeze oil output, because it would be "illogical".

Speaking to a national newspaper, Iran's envoy to Opec (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) Mehdi Asali said the country will continue increase its output to the levels seen before sanctions were imposed on it. Sanctions on its oil exports have only just been lifted.

Yesterday (Tuesday), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Venezuela and Russia agreed to freeze production at January's levels in an attempt to boost oil prices. But the move failed to have a positive affect, with Brent crude oil falling 3.2% compared with Monday's closing price, and more than 9% compared with its peak on Tuesday.

Quoted in the newspaper Shargh, Mr Asali said: "Asking Iran to freeze its oil production level is illogical... when Iran was under sanctions, some countries raised their output and they caused the drop in oil prices.

"How can they expect Iran to co-operate now and pay the price?"

Venezuela's oil minister meets officials from Iraq and Iran in Tehran today (Wednesday), hoping to secure a similar deal.