Iran's OPEC Governor Blames Trump's Tweets for Driving Up the Cost of Oil - And Begs Him to 'Stop It'
President Trump has never been shy about tweeting on international affairs, often putting his foot in his mouth. And according to Hossein Kazempour Ardebili—the Islamic Republic of Iran’s OPEC governor—some of the president’s OPEC-bashing tweets will have the effect of increasing oil prices.
On July 4, Trump tweeted, “The OPEC Monopoly must remember that gas prices are up & they are doing little to help. If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $’s. This must be a two-way street. REDUCE PRICING NOW!”
In response, Ardebili warned, “Your tweets have driven the prices up by at least $10 per barrel. (Please) stop it; otherwise, it will go even higher.”
Yesterday, the deputy commander of the Sarollah Revolutionary Guards in Tehran warned that any attempt to undermine Iran’s oil exports will lead to the closing of the Strait of Hormuz—a narrow waterway vital to oil distribution in the Persian Gulf region.
Ardebili declared, “OPEC has not defined oil prices for the past 30 years. You impose sanctions on major producers, founders of OPEC. And yet, you are asking them to reduce the prices?! Since when did you start ordering OPEC?!”
Ardebili also told Trump, “You are hammering on good guys in OPEC. You are actually discrediting them and undermining their sovereignty. We expect you to be more polite.”
Volatility in the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy can have a major impact on oil prices. After the administration of President George W. Bush invaded Iraq and overthrew the government of Saddam Hussein, Americans often complained about the high costs of gas at the pump.
Founded in Baghdad (Iraq’s largest city) in 1960, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC presently includes 15 countries altogether. Iran is OPEC’s third biggest oil producer, and other OPEC members range from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East to Venezuela and Ecuador in South America. In North Africa, OPEC members include Algeria and Libya.