Trump comes under sharp criticism from Iran after his attack on OPEC for keeping oil prices at artificial high

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President Donald Trump blasted OPEC again for the continuing spike in oil prices. The uptick is threatening to slow America’s economy and more importantly, upset voters before the midterm election.

Taking to Twitter, the President said: “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!”

The President’s tweet, the third on the topic in as many months, comes as the price of Brent crude has risen by more than 20 per cent this year. A barrel of crude oil currently stands at $78. OPEC’s pledge to increase total output by around 1 per cent of the global oil supply has done little to ease the upward price.

The high crude oil price has had a knock-on effect on gasoline prices which reached the highest mark since 2014. The national average price of gasoline has soared 25 per cent over the past year to $2.87 a gallon, according to AAA.

Paul Sankey an oil analyst at to Mizuho Securities suggested Trump’s reimposition of sanctions on Iran after canceling President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with that country has put upward pressure on the commodity.

Sankey said: “The problem with strong enforcement of sanctions on Iran, offset by increases in Saudi production, is that it will take global spare oil production capacity to zero. To us it is clear that harsh application of Iranian sanctions will very likely spiral oil prices higher.”

Meanwhile, the President’s tweet got a sharp retort by an Iranian official. “Mr. President, may I ask you, what are you talking about? OPEC has not defined oil prices for the past 30 years, it is a financial market and regional hubs for marker crudes who does it?” Iran’s OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said.

“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! Your tweets have driven the prices up by at least $10 per barrel. Pls stop it, otherwise it will go even higher!” the Iranian official added.

Ardebili also noted that Trump is impolite in his rhetoric, and Middle Eastern producers never respond in the US president’s style. “Our brothers in Saudi Arabia are a proud Muslim nation, educated and mature who do not let you talk with such rhetoric. And you say it is a two-way road!? We are also on this highway.”