Opec rebel Iran has said fellow members of the oil cartel should leave the country alone until it has raised production to over four million barrels per day.
The country, which wants to rebuild its market share after a trade embargo, indicated it would then be interested in attending historic talks between Opec and Russia to cap production at January levels.
“They should leave us alone as long as Iran's crude oil has not reached four million. We will accompany them afterwards,” oil minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying by Iran’s ISNA news agency.
The oil price has been climbing steadily over the last two months after hitting lows in mid January.
The price of Brent crude crossed the $40 per barrel mark in early March for the first time since December.
Opec leader Saudi Arabia is in the midst of brokering a deal with Russia and is due to meet again this week. Russian President Vladimir Putin has already promised no Russian oil companies would raise production in 2016.
A fall in US shale output has also helped to boost the price, despite stockpiles hitting record highs.