The Shah of IRAN, largest oil producer in the Persian Gulf, and the Government of LIBYA, top producer of North Africa, talked tough over the weekend, in terms that make it clear that costs to World Consumers of their petroleum are going up. Iran and Libya account for over 7,000,000 barrels daily of oil going to overseas markets, are thus strong factors in the current drive by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase the revenues of its memberstates.
In Tehran, capital of Iran, the Shah called his first press conference in a dozen years and spoke frankly to newsmen to bolster the efforts of the OPEC team currently negotiating with representatives of fifteen Western oil companies in the Iranian capital. The OPEC team consists of Cabinet level representatives from Iran, Iraq and SaudiArabia, speaking for their nations plus Kuwait, Qatar and Abu Dhabi. The OPEC demands have been countered by proposals from the oil companies for price boosts escalated over five years, with no increase in tax rates. Several major Western consuming nations, led by the United States and Britain, have been working through diplomatic channels in the interests of oil consumers.