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7 Jul, 2018 09:46

Trump’s order for OPEC to reduce prices is insulting – Iranian oil minister

Trump’s order for OPEC to reduce prices is insulting – Iranian oil minister

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

“[Donald] Trump sends every day a new message that creates uncertainty in the oil market,” Bijan Zanganeh said in an interview with Iranian broadcaster IRIB. According to the top official, the order issued by the US leader is “a great insult to [OPEC] governments and nations, and destabilizes the market.”

READ MORE: Iran tells Trump: Stop tweeting, it's driving up oil prices

Zanganeh added that neither Iranian oil production nor its exports had changed as a result of US pressure.

Earlier this week, Trump lashed out at OPEC, accusing the oil organization of failing to help the US to reduce domestic gasoline prices. “The OPEC monopoly must remember that gas prices are up and they are doing little to help… This must be a two way street. Reduce pricing now!” the US leader tweeted.

Iran, whose oil exports have been targeted by US sanctions, has been angered by Trump’s tweets. “Mr President, may I ask you, what are you talking about? OPEC has not defined oil prices for the past 30 years, it is a financial market and regional hubs for marker crudes who does it?” Iran’s OPEC Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said on Thursday. Iran was one of five countries, along with Iraq, Kuwait, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, which founded OPEC back in 1960.

While Trump says he wants lower oil prices, Washington’s sanctions against OPEC members Iran and Venezuela are adding uncertainty to the market, causing prices to spike. “You impose sanctions on major producers, founders of OPEC, and yet you are asking them to reduce the prices?! Since when did you start ordering OPEC!” Ardebili added.

According to Professor of Economics Steve Keen, oil prices will rise regardless of what Iran does, but Trump will blame Tehran anyway. Trump’s attempt to control oil prices is “the beginning of the chaos – having a mad man in control of a complex system,” he told RT. 

READ MORE: 'Trump's attempt to control oil prices is the beginning of chaos' – economist

Keen stressed that Trump is trying to “jump on Iran and stop Iran’s oil production.” So, he says, as well as boosting demand in general with the recovery and in particular with his policies in America, the US leader “is now trying to boost supply, but at the same time he is cutting supply out of Iran.”

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