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Iran says Trump rhetoric to raise oil prices to $100

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – Iran has warned that the strong rhetoric by US President Donald Trump against it and other oil producers could soon push up crude prices to as high as $100 per barrel.

Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, Iran’s ambassador to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), was quoted by media as saying that the world – and specifically American consumers – would eventually consider Trump blameworthy for runaway oil prices in international markets.

“The responsibility of paying unnecessary prices for oil by all consumers of the whole world, especially in US gas stations, is solely upon your (Trump’s) shoulders and the price of over $100 per barrel is yet to come,” Kazempour Ardebili told Reuters.

Kazempour Ardebili also emphasized that the US president was wrong to believe that Saudi Arabia and Russia would help reduce oil prices, adding that both key global producers had little vested interest in bringing down the prices.

He said Trump had in fact made the US a hostage to Russia and Saudi Arabia as a result of his campaign to undermine Iran’s oil exports, stressing that the US president should have expected this when he moved to block Iran’s access to global markets.

On Wednesday, the US president again accused the OPEC of driving fuel prices higher and urged US allies such as Saudi Arabia to pump more.

In May, Trump announced that he would pull America out of a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and re-impose the sanctions that the deal had envisaged to be lifted.

He has already emphasized that the sanctions which would be imposed on Iran would be “at the highest level”.

The sanctions would include a universal ban on Iran over buying or acquiring US dollars as well as restrictions over purchases of crude oil from the country and investing in its oil sector projects.

Earlier, Kazempour Ardebili had said that Trump’s pressure on international firms not to buy Iranian oil would drive prices higher and end up hurting the American economy.

He had also emphasized that oil should not be used as a weapon or to make political gains.

“Trump’s demand that Iranian oil should not be bought, and (his) pressures on European firms at a time when Nigeria and Libya are in crisis, when Venezuela’s oil exports have fallen due to US sanctions, when Saudi’s domestic consumption has increased in summer, is nothing but a self harm,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Rising gasoline prices in the US could create a political headache for Trump before November mid-term congressional elections by offsetting Republican claims that his tax cuts and rollbacks of federal regulations have helped boost the US economy, Reuters wrote in its report.

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