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Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh listens to journalists at the beginning of an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, on July 1, 2019.LEONHARD FOEGER/Reuters

OPEC has managed to raise crude prices and stabilize the oil market, OPEC member Iran’s oil minister was quoted on Monday as saying by his ministry’s website SHANA.

“OPEC’s performance has been successful because the price of oil has risen from $16 in May to around $45 and has stabilized,” Bijan Zanganeh said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, agreed to record output cuts to tackle the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Zanganeh said Iran’s oil industry has signed 13 contracts worth roughly 1.5 billion euros with 14 local firms to enhance and maintain the country’s oil production.

In 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers and reimposed sanctions that have sharply cut Iran’s oil exports.

“We welcome the participation of all foreign companies in the development of oil industry projects except companies from Israel, but we will continue our work even without their participation in our projects,” Zanganeh said.

Fearing U.S. penalties, foreign companies have stayed away from investing in Iran. Tehran does not recognize Israel.

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