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Iran says Trump 'destabilising' oil market

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Iran's OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili

"REDUCE PRICING NOW!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

The leader of Saudi Arabia, OPEC's biggest member, has assured Trump that the kingdom can raise oil production if needed, and that the country has 2 million barrels per day of spare capacity that could be deployed to help cool oil prices to compensate for falling output in Venezuela and Iran.

Brent crude futures were at $77.82 per barrel, up 6 cents from their last close.

Trump late on Wednesday accused the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) of driving up fuel prices. This must be a two way street.

Similarly, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) report indicated that Saudi Arabia raised oil output by nearly 500,000 barrels per day last month.

Opec, together with a group of non-Opec producers led by Russian Federation, reduced output in 2017 to prop up the market.

Iranian OPEC Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told Reuters that Trump "should have expected" when blocking Iran's access to the global markets that it would end up as "hostage (to) Saudi Arabia and Russia", who he said had little vested interest in bringing down prices.

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OPEC and Russian Federation announced in June they were willing to raise output to address concerns of emerging supply shortages due to unplanned disruptions from Venezuela to Libya, and likely also to replace a potential fall in Iranian supplies due to United States sanctions.

Recent price rises have also been spurred by a US announcement that it plans to re-introduce sanctions against Iran from November, targeting oil exports.

Saudi Arabia has wanted to sell shares in Aramco to bring in foreign investment to diversify its economy, but legal concerns about listing in places like London or NY have presented complications.

US tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports took effect as a deadline passed on Friday and Beijing has vowed to respond immediately in kind, setting the two world's biggest economies on a path toward a full-blown trade conflict.

Zanganeh called the tension between Tehran and Washington a "trade war" and said it had not led to changes in Iranian oil production and exports.

The oil minister also said that Iran, which is Opec's third-largest producer, has not changed its oil production and exports amid growing U.S. pressure.

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