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U.S. confirms its Iran envoy met Saudi energy minister in Vienna

Reuters  |  VIENNA 

(Reuters) - The confirmed that Saudi Energy met with U.S. for in on Wednesday, contradicting a Saudi denial that the talks had taken place.

Sources familiar with the meeting said earlier that Hook, a senior policy adviser to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, had spoken with Falih a day before the was due to debate

The reimposed sanctions on OPEC member last month. The measure has severely reduced Iranian has said it wants ultimately to drive Iranian shipments to zero.

A said of the talks between Falih and Hook: "We categorically deny such a meeting took place." However, a U.S. State Department later confirmed the meeting occurred.

"for met briefly with the Saudi of Energy in on Wednesday," the State Department said.

U.S. has urged Saudi Arabia, OPEC's de facto leader, to refrain from production cuts in order to keep low. He said were a payback from for U.S. support against Saudi arch-rival Iran.

Iran's Oil criticised Hook over the meeting for what he said was his "meddlesome approach".

"If Mr. Hook has come to Vienna to apply for U.S. membership in OPEC, and this is the reason why he meets OPEC members, this request shall be reviewed," Zanganeh told website SHANA.

"Otherwise, he has adopted an unprofessional, naive and meddlesome approach. OPEC is an independent organisation and is not part of the to take orders from Washington," Zanganeh told SHANA.

(Reporting by Rania El Gamal; additional reporting by in Cairo and Arshad Mohammed in Washington; writing and editing by Dmitry Zhdannikov, and Dubai newsroom; Editing by and Edmund Blair)

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

First Published: Thu, December 06 2018. 01:29 IST