Iran oil min­is­ter: U.S. waivers not enough, painful time ahead

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - REGION -

TEHRAN: Iran’s oil min­is­ter Thurs­day pre­dicted a painful time ahead for in­ter­na­tional oil cus­tomers as U.S. sanc­tions take hold, say­ing waivers that Wash­ing­ton granted to eight ma­jor oil-im­port­ing coun­tries are not enough for mar­ket de­mands.

Ira­nian state TV quoted the min­ster, Bi­jan Zan­ganeh, as say­ing he sees the months ahead as “painful months for oil con­sumers.”

Zan­ganeh claimed the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion may have been able to “su­per­fi­cially” bring fuel prices down ahead of the U.S. midterm elec­tions this week but that there will be a hike in prices in the fu­ture.

Also Thurs­day, Iran’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive to OPEC, Hos­sein Kazem­pour Arde­bili, claimed that Rus­sia and Saudi Ara­bia were help­ing Trump by in­creas­ing their own pro­duc­tion to keep oil prices low. Trump re­peat­edly has asked oil pro­duc­ers to pump more crude to lower prices.

The lat­est batch of U.S. sanc­tions se­verely im­pacts Iran’s oil in­dus­try, the ma­jor source of the coun­try’s for­eign rev­enue. Tehran wor­ries OPEC and non-OPEC coun­tries such as Rus­sia will in­crease their pro­duc­tion to fill the gap in re­sponse.

Tues­day, Zan­ganeh wrote a let­ter to the OPEC chief, ask­ing that the so-called Joint Min­is­te­rial Mon­i­tor­ing Com­mit­tee, which con­sists of all OPEC and non-OPEC coun­tries, some mem­bers of the com­mit­tee “openly” take side with the United States on the mat­ter of sanc­tions on Iran.

The com­mit­tee is due to hold a meet­ing next week in Abu Dhabi, the cap­i­tal of the United Arab Emi­rates, an ally of Iran’s re­gional ri­val Saudi Ara­bia. –

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