Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh says there has been no major change in the country’s production and export of crude oil despite recent threats by US President Donald Trump to halt the oil trade activities of the Islamic Republic.
Zanganeh added that Iran had already devised a plan to counter Trump’s threats, and that the plan was working successfully.
He further said the anti-Iran efforts by the US president were largely to blame for the high oil prices in international markets. The Iranian minister also criticized Trump’s pressure on Saudi Arabia to increase its supplies and said such efforts would destabilize markets.
Zanganeh said that exerting pressure as such was against the principles of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in which both Saudi Arabia and Iran are founding members.
He added that OPEC principles would never allow political pressures to change the directions of the market. This, the Iranian minister warned, would only disrupt the market by increasing concerns among producing countries that would see their sovereignty threatened as a result of the US pressure.
Trump recently said that Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase oil production by up to 2 million barrels per day (bpd) to moderate high prices. This is already seen as part of a political campaign by the US to pressure the kingdom to ramp up oil production quickly to make up for the loss of Iranian barrels which the Trump administration has threatened to bring down to zero.
On Saturday, Zanganeh was quoted as saying that the US president had insulted OPEC by trying to force Saudi Arabia to increase its production.
Trump’s order to oil producing countries to raise output “is very insulting to the people of these countries and would undermine their national sovereignty and destabilize the oil market,” he said.