Analysts attribute the change previous year to the output cuts initiated by Saudi Arabia and the increased availability of heavy grades of crude from Iraq at a higher discount, which are more suited for use in Indian refinery complexes.
NIOC set its Iranian Light official price for November sales to Asia at 30 cents less than the price of similar-quality Arab Light crude sold by state-run Saudi Aramco.
'You cannot keep the price low with slogans and intimidation, ' considered Zanganeh.
While the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies say they remain committed to boosting production, questions remain over their spare capacity. The U.S. -imposed sanctions go into effect November 4 and prohibit countries from buying Iranian crude exports.
India, the world's third-biggest oil consumer, meets more than 80 per cent of its oil needs through imports.
While the low prices may be enticing, buyers who decide to purchase the supply will expose themselves to the risk of being cut off from the American financial system after USA sanctions are imposed on November 4.
Overall, analysts forecast that United States crude stockpiles rose last week for the fourth straight week, by about 2.2 million barrels, according to a Reuters poll ahead of weekly inventory reports.More news: Scott Morrison open to moving Australia's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem
The diplomatic crisis over Saudi Arabia's alleged involvement in the disappearance of journalist Khashoggi could affect oil prices, too.
Another drop in Iranian exports should have been bullish for crude oil, but gains may have been limited by concerns over demand.
Western pressure mounted on Riyadh to provide answers, but President Donald Trump's comments suggested that White House may not take additional action against the Saudis, particularly after Saudi Arabia said it will conduct an investigation. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey forecast government data to show a 2.5-million-barrel gain.
"The weakening crude spreads nearly globally in the face of Iran sanctions is likely generating some concern on how strong market really is and if it's ready to rally more", said Scott Shelton, energy futures broker with ICAP in Durham, North Carolina.
Falih also said Saudi Arabia wants to invest in Indian downstream projects and strategic oil storage.
The Times of Israel reported that Iran also may have reached a deal with Russia last month to take delivery of Iranian crude oil and then refine it and sell it to global buyers, in yet another possible scheme to bypass US sanctions by "laundering" the oil through Russian markets.