April 20, 2016 / 1:47 PM / a year ago

Iran determined to regain oil market share, can handle low price: source

A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Gulf July 25, 2005. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran is determined to recover its share of the world oil market following the lifting of sanctions, and can withstand low prices since it has sold oil for as little as $6 a barrel in the past, a source close to Iranian oil policy said.

The source was speaking after Russia, one of the participants at last weekend’s meeting of oil producing nations which failed to deliver an agreement to freeze output, indicated it could raise supply.

“We paid for our barrels with our centrifuges,” the source said, referring to Iran’s acceptance of curbs on its nuclear program in order for Western sanctions on Tehran to be lifted.

“We are going to get our share back. For us, oil is only 12 percent of our GDP. We used to sell oil in the war (between Iran and Iraq in the 1980s) at $6 a barrel.”

He added any agreement to restrain supply at the next OPEC meeting in June depended on Saudi Arabia and non-member Russia.

“If June is going to produce an agreement, you have to ask Saudi Arabia and Russia. They are the problem.”

Reporting by Alex Lawler; Editing by Dmitry Zhdannikov and Mark Potter

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