Raisi Picks Technocrat as Iran's New Oil Minister

Copyright © 2023 Energy Intelligence Group All rights reserved. Unauthorized access or electronic forwarding, even for internal use, is prohibited.

Iran's new hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi has nominated oil industry technocrat Javad Owji to replace Bijan Zanganeh, who is bowing out as the longest-serving Opec-plus oil minister (IOD Jun.15'21). Raisi presented his nominations for Iran's new cabinet on Wednesday. Parliament is expected to meet soon to review the nominations and is expected to approve most of them by the end of the month, sources familiar with the matter said. Owji is a former deputy oil minister and held the post of managing director at National Iranian Gas Co. from 2009 to 2013. Outside Iran little is known about him, other than that he was trained as a petroleum engineer. Industry sources in Iran say Owji's experience of working in the oil and gas industry gives him an edge in understanding the importance of attracting investment to Iran, which is currently limited by sanctions. "It's always better to have an oil minister that comes from and understands the industry than an outsider," said a Tehran-based industry source. For the position of foreign minister, Raisi selected Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a hard-line anti-Western diplomat. The foreign ministry has led Iran's participation at talks in Vienna that have sought to bring both Iran and the US back into the 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear agreement and lift US sanctions that have crippled Iran's oil exports. However, there have been reports in Iran that the Supreme National Security Council, which reports directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, could take over those talks. The sixth round of talks in Vienna ended in June. A protégé of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Raisi won the June presidential election by a wide margin but the top moderate candidates were barred from running and voter turnout was low (IOD Aug.3'21). Speaking earlier this month during a ceremony at which he was officially endorsed by Khamenei, Raisi alluded to the resumption of indirect talks with the US to revive the nuclear agreement. "We will definitely seek to lift the oppressive sanctions, but we will not condition people's livelihood and the economy [on it] and we will not tie it to the will of outsiders," he said. Amena Bakr, Dubai

Wanda Ad #2 (article footer)
Opec-plus' complex agreement aims to regain control of a market that has been driven recently by sentiment more than fundamentals.
Mon, Jun 5, 2023
Forecasts see stellar growth in oil consumption in the second half of the year, driven primarily by China.
Tue, Jun 6, 2023