US President Donald Trump blames OPEC for rising gas prices and is urging the cartel to “REDUCE PRICING NOW!”. Higher gasoline prices could become a political problem for the ruling Republicans as the midterm elections near.
Gas prices rise as impending Trump Iran sanctions cut into global crude supply
With the US midterm elections coming in four months, rising gas prices have President Donald Trump tweeting that OPEC should do more to boost the global crude supply which would cut oil prices and reduce pain at the pump for US drivers.
“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!” Trump tweeted out Wednesday afternoon.
Trump has been lashing out at the cartel recently as rising gas prices could offset Republican claims that the Trump tax cuts and federal regulations rollbacks have helped boost the US economy.
Last weekend, Trump tweeted that Saudi Arabia had agreed to increase its production by 2 million barrels per day. Since then, the White House has rolled back the statement.
Trump’s accusations come at a time when he is pressuring America’s European allies to halt purchases of Iranian crude. In May, Iran produced 4.455 million b/d. The Middle Eastern country is OPEC’s second largest producer.
On Thursday, Iran’s OPEC Governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili accused the US president of raising oil prices through his tweets.
“Your tweets have increased the prices by at least $10. Please stop this method,” SHANA, Iran’s oil ministry’s new agency quoted Kazempour.
Kazempour added that Trump is trying to fuel tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Kazempour also called on the US to join Friday’s meeting in Vienna where the five remaining signatories of the Iran nuclear deal will discuss how to preserve the 2015 agreement.
In May, the Trump administration abandoned the deal that saw an ease on sanctions against Iran, and in return, Tehran would redesign, convert, and reduce its nuclear facilities
Iran is threatening to block crude exports through the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation against any hostile US action.
The Strait of Hormuz provides the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean. On the north coast lies Iran, and on the south coast the United Arab Emirates and Musandam, an exclave of Oman.