Iran said on Tuesday U.S. President Donald Trump was mistaken to expect Saudi Arabia and other oil producers to compensate for supply losses caused by U.S. sanctions on Iran, after OPEC production rose only modestly in July.
The comments, from Iran’s OPEC governor, came a day after a Reuters survey showed OPEC production rose by 70,000 barrels per day in July. Saudi production increased but was offset by a decline in Iranian supply due to the restart of U.S. sanctions, the survey found.
“It seems President Trump has been taken hostage by Saudi Arabia and a few producers when they claimed they can replace 2.5 million barrels per day of Iranian exports, encouraging him to take action against Iran,” Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told Reuters. “Now they and Russia sell more oil and more expensively. Not even from their incremental production but their stocks.”
He said oil prices, which Trump has been pressuring the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to bring down by raising output, will rise unless the United States grants waivers to buyers of Iranian crude.
“They are also calling for the use of the U.S. SPR [Strategic Petroleum Reserve]. This will also mean higher prices. U.S. waivers to our clients if they come is due to the failure of bluffers [Saudi and the other producers] and, if not given, will again push the prices higher,” he said.
“So they hanged him [Trump] on the wall. Now they want to have a mega OPEC, congratulations to President Trump, Russia and Saudi Arabia.”
OPEC governors represent their respective country on the organization’s board of governors and are typically the second most senior person in a country’s OPEC delegation after the oil minister.
“The longer-term solution, Mr President, is to support and facilitate capacity building in all countries, proportionate to their reserves of oil and gas. And we will remain the biggest opportunity,” Kazempour said.