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Exclusive: Iraq waiting to gauge Iran oil shortfall ahead of OPEC meet - minister

Reuters  |  BAGHDAD 

By and John Davison

(Reuters) - Iraq's Minister said on Tuesday that the shortfall in supply caused by new U.S. sanctions on had yet to be gauged ahead of an OPEC meeting next month.

Ghadhban said wanted to see the "actual decrease" before and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decide how to deal with a reduction in Iranian shipments.

"I want to wait and see how much is the actual physical decrease in Iranian exports, and whether this would be compensated by not only OPEC producers but by other countries," he told in his first interview since taking over the portfolio last month.

"What will be the physical increase in demand on Iraqi oil ... if there's no demand, how can I say we'll compensate?"

Ghadhban did not specify what he expected for 2019. He said a price above $70 per barrel was "fair" and that the higher the price, the better it was for

"I compare it with previous prices ... when we talk about prices above 70 ... I say it's a fair price, it's not 30 or 50 and it's not 100.

"In principle, the higher the price, the better for But we're not working alone .. we're a member of OPEC. We see the interests of consumers and we want to be a viable and exporter," Ghadhban said.

The on Monday restored sanctions targeting Iran's oil, and transport sectors and threatened more action to stop what called its "outlaw" policies - steps that called economic warfare and vowed to defy.

A confirmed Iraq had been granted a waiver to import some Iranian products. Iraqi officials said last week would still be allowed to import and for its power stations as well as

(Reporting by John and Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by Dale Hudson)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 06 2018. 18:55 IST