Iran Nominates Ex-Oil Minister Nozari for OPEC Top Position

Iran has officially nominated an ex-oil minister as a candidate to helm the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the country's representative with the group said Wednesday, heralding a battle for the position with regional rival Saudi Arabia.

In remarks carried by Iran's Oil Ministry website Shana, Muhammad Ali Khatibi, the country's OPEC governor, confirmed former oil minister Gholam-Hosain Nozari had been introduced as Tehran's candidate for the position of secretary general.

Mr. Nozari, who was oil minister under the first presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will vie with candidates from Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Ecuador, which have respectively named Thamir Ghadhban, Majid Muneef and Wilson Pastor.

At a meeting due June 14, OPEC members are expected to discuss a replacement to current head Abdalla Salem el-Badri, who is set to leave at the end of the year.

The secretary general of OPEC--the world's largest oil-producer group--plays a key role in providing a unifying voice for the organization and in brokering agreements on output.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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