Iran says Trump 'destabilising' oil market

Irving Hamilton
July 9, 2018

Donald Trump has insulted OPEC member states by ordering the organization to reduce prices, the Iranian oil minister stated, responding to the U.S. leader's recent criticism of OPEC for keeping oil prices artificially high.

He further said the anti-Iran efforts by the USA president were largely to blame for the high oil prices in global markets.

"It's an insult to the people and national sovereignty of these countries and it also destabilises the market", he added.

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Last month, Russian Federation and OPEC's largest producer and de facto leader Saudi Arabia managed to get OPEC and their Moscow-led non-OPEC allies to agree to boost production by unspecified quotas for individual countries part of the pact, to "ease market and consumer anxiety" over the high oil prices. The decision to ease the combined OPEC/non-OPEC compliance rate from 147 percent in May 2018 to 100 percent starting July 1 equates to adding around 1 million bpd on the market, the statement said. This, the Iranian minister warned, would only disrupt the market by increasing concerns among producing countries that would see their sovereignty threatened as a result of the U.S. pressure.

Trump has lashed out at OPEC producers to reduce prices, making a claim - later backtracked by the White House - in a tweet on Saturday that Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase oil output by up to 2 million barrels. This is already seen as part of a political campaign by the USA to pressure the kingdom to ramp up oil production quickly to make up for the loss of Iranian barrels which the Trump administration has threatened to bring down to zero.

"Every day, Mr. Trump has a new message or remark that causes concern in the market, or he gives OPEC members orders that are very insulting", or demands other countries increase their production, Zanganeh said.

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