Trump blasts OPEC, warns European companies against business with Iran

Trump blasts OPEC, warns European companies against business with Iran

Iran will allow private companies to export crude oil, part of a strategy to counter U.S. sanctions, and is urging fellow OPEC members, including regional rival Saudi Arabia, not to break output agreements, state media and officials said on Sunday.

The Treasury Department said the sanctions on Iran would take effect in 90-day and 180-day periods - after August 6 and November 4.

Hook's comments follow a turbulent week in the oil market that started last Tuesday when another State Department official called on buyers to stop importing Iranian crude by November 4.

"Our focus is on getting as many countries importing Iranian crude down to zero as soon as possible".

Trump said in a tweet on Saturday that Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had agreed to produce more oil. Tehran, however, vowed on Sunday to foil any USA bid to block its oil exports.

The US government says a move to reimpose sanctions on Iran remains on track.

The private sector in Iran was allowed to export crude oil in a bid to thwart US sanctions, Iran's first vice president said here on Sunday. This was the first OPEC meeting since President Trump announced that the United States would leave the Iran nuclear deal.

"OPEC is manipulating, and you know they allowed (a production increase) less than we thought last week".

Iran had been pushing hard for oil producers to hold output steady as US sanctions are expected to hit its exports.

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A recent decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to increase the cartel's own production by 1 million barrels a day has yet to tamp down prices.

"We are prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case-by-case basis", he said.

Asked whether someone was manipulating oil markets, Trump said: "100 percent".

The company also said it "has the ability to increase oil production by several hundred thousand barrels of oil per day, should this be required to help alleviate any potential supply shortage in the market". "Iran. OK. You think of it. Iran is their big enemy, so they are going to have to do it", Trump said.

But the U.S. official, Brian Hook, also said that keeping prices stable in the absence of Iranian crude is also important.

"You can not order 2 million barrels like ordering a coffee somewhere", he added.

"We're not granting waivers", the official said.

PVM Oil Associates strategist Tamas Varga said, "We are entering the second half of the year with a huge amount of uncertainty surrounding the supply side of the equation".

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