Iran tells Trump: stop tweeting, it's driving up oil prices

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Iran tells Trump: stop tweeting, it's driving up oil prices

U.S. President Donald Trump again accused the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries of driving gasoline prices higher on Wednesday and urged the oil producer group to do more.

West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery rose 20 cents to settle at US$74.14 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after earlier rising to as high as US$75.27.

To make up for potential shortfalls in supply from Iran sanctions as well as other disruptions including Libya and Venezuela, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has agreed with Russian Federation and other oil-producing non-OPEC members to raise output from July. That was no small feat, especially considering how irritated Iran was at the idea that OPEC was beholden to Trump's Twitter account.

Brent crude declined from its $115 per barrel peak in June 2014 to below $30 in January 2016 before recovering to its current price of around $78.

Outside North America, looming USA sanctions against major oil exporter Iran were the focus of attention. Morgan Stanley raised its Brent crude forecast to US$85 a barrel through to the third quarter of 2019, citing a tighter market than previously anticipated.

Crude oil prices rose on Tuesday with the USA benchmark hitting a four-year high on expected drains in domestic inventories and outages in Libya. "Their companies - their companies will be subject to the same sanctions that everybody else's are if they engage in those sectors of the economy that are sanctionable, where there were sanctions imposed prior to 2015", the unnamed U.S. State Department Official told the media on June 26. The U.S. will not allow those who buy oil from Iran to do business in America without penalty.

"Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that, because of the turmoil & disfunction (sic) in Iran and Venezuela, I am asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference..."

The Strait of Hormuz is of major strategic importance.

Hossein Kazempour Ardebili was quoted by the oil ministry's website Thursday as telling Trump to "please stop, " adding that "with your frequent and indecent tweets oil prices have gone up 10 dollars".

The development came days after the oil-rich Persian Gulf state, which is the world's largest oil exporter, agreed to substantially raise production.

"As a result, American consumers would have to pay the price of Trump's unilateralism at gas stations".

Earlier, Saudi Arabia had also pledged to add barrels amid calls by US President Donald Trump for more oil from the Opec members.

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