The war of words over oil prices continues between US President Donald Trump and Iran, and the latest salvo from Iran is for Trump to stop tweeting.
“Your tweets have driven the prices up by at least $10 per barrel,” Iran’s Opec governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said in a message to Trump, carried by Iranian Oil Ministry’s Shana news service. “Pls stop it, otherwise it will go even higher!”
Oil is trading near $78 a barrel, holding most of a rally that saw prices rise to the highest level in more than three years after Opec’s output increase plan was overshadowed by supply disruptions in Libya, Canada and Venezuela.
Trump tweeted Wednesday that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries is “doing little to help” reduce US gasoline costs and “if anything, they are driving prices higher.” Despite that key member Saudi Arabia is affirming that the group and its allies will boost output, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. warned that oil is likely to lead a new rally as the market faces significant supply risks from Venezuela to Iran.
“You are hammering on good guys in Opec,” Kazempour said. “You are actually discrediting them and undermining their sovereignty, we expect you to be more polite.”
The clash over Opec policy and the resumption of US sanctions on Iran has been amplified this week as Trump continues to target the group which he blames for rising prices. His latest was a reminder that the US defends many Opec members for “very little” money. “This must be a two-way street. REDUCE PRICING NOW!”
Iran’s deputy commander of the Sarollah Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday that any attempt to thwart its oil exports will result in the closure of Strait of Hormuz, the narrow waterway at the mouth of the Arabian Gulf, where the world’s biggest concentration of tankers carry about 30 per cent of all seaborne-traded crude oil and other liquids during the year.
While Opec is facing mounting pressure from Trump to do more, America’s sanctions on group members Iran and Venezuela are adding uncertainties, just as US tariffs on Chinese goods kick in on Friday.
“Opec has not defined oil prices for the past 30 years,” Kazempour said. “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!”
Source: Gulf News