Bijan Namdar Zanganeh: A Star Is Born At Opec

The traditional media scrum at the start of the 5 June Opec meeting saw the birth of a new celebrity: Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh.

The impending nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers has put the spotlight on Iran this time around rather than Opec kingpin Saudi Arabia and its oil minister Ali Naimi, the group’s long-time leading man. Iran’s potential return to an already oversupplied oil market risks upsetting the fragile consensus that the Saudis managed to extract in November.

As the doors to the pre-meeting open session swung open, reporters, photographers and television crews alike streamed in, dispersing, as they always do, among the ministers of the 12 Opec member countries seated on either side of the conference at the Opec Secretariat. But looking from the outside in, at this meeting, one could definitely see a shift in the dynamics of what is normally a very Saudi Arabia-focused event. This time around, it was the Iranian oil minister who comfortably drew the largest crowd. (CONTINUED - 1202 WORDS)