LONDON: Iran’s oil minister on Saturday accused US President Donald Trump of insulting OPEC by ordering it to increase production and reduce prices, adding Iranian oil production and exports had not changed as a result of US pressure.
Trump accused on Wednesday the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries of driving fuel prices higher, and urged US allies such as Saudi Arabia to pump more if they wanted Washington to continue protecting them against their top foe Iran.
“Mr Trump sends every day a new message that creates uncertainty in the market,” Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said in an interview with state television.
“Trump’s order to OPEC members to increase production is a great insult to those governments and nations, and destabilizes the market.”
Zanganeh said Iranian oil production and exports had not changed as a result of US pressure.
Iran, OPEC’s third-largest producer, is facing US sanctions on its oil exports that are prompting some buyers to cut purchases.
The United States in May said it was walking away from an international deal on Iran’s nuclear program, and said it would impose fresh sanctions on Iran’s energy sector.
South Korea halted in July all Iranian oil shipments for the first time in six years amid US pressure.
Iran has threatened to block oil exports through a key Gulf waterway in retaliation for US efforts to reduce Iranian oil sales to zero.