0353 GMT April 23, 2019
“Oil prices are increasing every day. That shows the market is worried,” Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying by Tasnim News Agency.
Oil prices have risen more than 30 percent this year on the back of supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and US sanctions on oil exporters, Iran and Venezuela, plus escalating conflict in OPEC member, Libya.
“Venezuela is in trouble. Russia is also under sanctions. Libya is in turmoil. Part of US oil production has stopped. These show the supply-demand balance is very fragile,” Zanganeh said.
“If they [the Americans] decide to increase pressure on Iran, the fragility will increase in an unpredictable way,” he added.
Zanganeh said one of the consequences of pressure on Iran is a rise in fuel prices in the United States.
“Trump must choose whether to add more pressure on Iran or keep fuel prices low at gas stations in America,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying by Shana.
The US reimposed sanctions on Iran in November after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers.
US President Donald Trump aims to eventually halt Iran’s oil exports, choking off Tehran’s main source of revenue.
OPEC and its allies meet in June to decide whether to continue withholding supply. Though OPEC member, Saudi Arabia, is considered keen to keep cutting output, sources within the group have said it could raise output as of July if disruptions continue elsewhere.
The producer group’s supply cuts have been aimed largely at offsetting record crude production in the United States.