Problems in Oil Market Caused by US President: Iran’s Minister

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s oil minister said problems in the oil market were political and not the result of a supply and demand imbalance.

Problems in Oil Market Caused by US President: Iran’s Minister

“The current problem in the oil market is the result of political tension caused by the American president, not supply and demand imbalance,” Bijan Zangeneh said on Tuesday before his departure to the OPEC summit, Shana news agency reported.

Recently, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, Iran's OPEC governor, said Venezuela and Iraq will join Iran in blocking a proposal to increase oil production that’s backed by Saudi Arabia and Russia when OPEC and its allies meet in Vienna this week.

“Three OPEC founders are going to stop it,” Kazempour Ardebili said in comments to Bloomberg on Sunday.

“If the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Russia want to increase production, this requires unanimity. If the two want to act alone, that’s a breach of the cooperation agreement.”

OPEC and its allies could consider a production increase of as much as 1.5 million barrels a day, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday.

That would be enough to offset the supply losses from Venezuela and Iran foreseen by the International Energy Agency. Saudi Arabia has been discussing different scenarios that would raise production by between 500,000 and 1 million barrels a day, according to people familiar with the matter.

The alliance is also facing pressure from outside. US President Donald Trump has continued to criticize the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on his Twitter account. Worried about the impact of gasoline prices on mid-term elections, the Trump administration is lobbying hard for a surge in production.

“We call upon our brothers in OPEC and Russia that we do not need to appease Trump, who sanctions two OPEC founders and also Russia,” Kazempour Ardebili said.

“We are sovereign nations driven by our own responsibilities and values. The whole world has to stand against these arrogant attitudes -- and will."

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