Iranian oil minister calls Trump's order to OPEC insulting

Marco Green
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 USA leader's recent criticism of OPEC for keeping oil prices artificially high.

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh talks to journalists at the beginning of an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, June 22, 2018.

"These days. the price is dependent on the behaviour of Mr. Trump", Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on state television.

He has repeatedly urged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) - which includes key U.S. ally Saudi Arabia - to raise its production.

At the same time, the USA president has been exerting pressure on his European allies to stop buying Iranian oil.

Trump on Wednesday accused the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries of driving fuel prices higher, and urged Saudi Arabia to pump more if it wanted Washington to continue protecting it against its top rival Iran.

Earlier this week, Russia's Novak and his Saudi counterpart Khalid al-Falih discussed the latest developments on the oil market and exchanged information about their countries' plans for production to meet summer demand, Russia's energy ministry said in a statement.

Zanganeh said Iranian oil production and exports had not changed as a result of USA pressure.

The United States in May said it was walking away from an worldwide deal on Iran's nuclear program, and said it would impose fresh sanctions on Iran's energy sector. This is already seen as part of a political campaign by the United States 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.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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