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Iran says oil producers led Trump into ‘trap’

Iran says US President Donald Trump’s anticipation that certain oil producers can fill the market gap created as a result of cutting off Iranian supplies is based on a “miscalculation” and that he had fallen into a trap that the same producers had created.

Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, Iran’s representative to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), was quoted by media as saying that Trump’s decision to sanction Iran’s oil sales to international markets could translate into serious “repercussions”.

Kazempour Ardebili added that the whole global economy would eventually suffer if the flow of Iran’s oil supplies to world markets would be stopped.

He further expressed doubt if other producers would really have the ability to compensate for missing Iranian barrels once the sanctions against Iran’s oil sales would be put into force.

“Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Russia pretended to be able to deliver 2.5 million barrels a day of Iranian exports,” Kazempour Ardebili was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

“That was a miscalculation, Mr. President: you have fallen in their trap, and prices will go up,” he was quoted as addressing President Trump.

The US administration is pressing Saudi Arabia and some other OPEC members to fill in any supply gap that will arise when US sanctions curtail Iranian crude exports, Bloomberg added in its report.

However, Reuters earlier quoted estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA) as showing that the US could not rely on Saudi Arabia for too long to make up for the missing Iranian oil supplies once American sanctions are re-imposed against the country.

Reuters also highlighted speculations by experts that showed the kingdom could only pump more to fill Iran’s gap in oil market only for a certain period.

In his earlier remarks, Kazempour Ardebili had warned that President Trump’s rhetoric against Iran and his threat to cut Iran’s oil supplies to markets could push up prices to as high as $100 per barrel and beyond.

He had also warned that sanctioning Iran’s oil exports could eventually harm consumers in all countries – and even the US, itself.

In May, Trump announced that he would pull America out of a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and re-impose the sanctions that the deal had envisaged to be lifted.

He has already emphasized that the sanctions which would be imposed on Iran would be “at the highest level”.

The sanctions would include a universal ban on Iran over buying or acquiring US dollars as well as restrictions over purchases of crude oil from the country and investing in its oil sector projects.

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