Iran Urges OPEC to Rebuff 'Threats' From Trump
Iran on Sunday called on its OPEC partners not to bow to "threats" from US President Donald Trump, as the oil cartel prepared to meet to discuss output levels.
"I hope the outcome of this meeting will not be affected by President Trump's threats," Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told SHANA, his ministry's news agency.
Ahead of Sunday's meeting in Algiers of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Trump tweeted that "the OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!" by raising output.
Middle East states "would not be safe for very long" without the United States, the president also wrote Thursday.
Zanganeh fired back, saying the claim that "America safeguards the security and survival of producing countries" was the "biggest insult to American allies in the region".
"OPEC is an organization independent of America and will hopefully stay so," he said.
However, the Algiers meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC ministers is expected to offer an increase in output to "offset Iran's production cut", said Zanganeh.
Output from Iran has hit its lowest level since July 2016, according to the International Energy Agency, as top buyers India and China distance themselves from Tehran.
Trump has called for OPEC members, primarily US ally Saudi Arabia, to raise production, and warned importers to stop buying oil from Iran or face American sanctions.
The US in May withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran and reimposed sanctions on the Iranian economy, with a US embargo due to hit Iran's oil industry on November 4.
Photo Credit: IRNA