Iran says OPEC won’t take direction from Trump

Iran’s oil minister is insisting that OPEC’s place is not to take instructions from U.S. President Donald Trump but is leaving open Tehran’s position on an increase in production.

The cartel’s largest producer, Saudi Arabia, is seen to be open to higher production but Iran has been hesitant. Trump has been lobbying OPEC to help lower prices.

Iranian oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said as the group met Friday that “we are not here to receive instruction from President Trump and apply it and implement it.”

Asked whether he supports increasing production, he replied: “Some of the countries are against any increase, and ask them. I am not representative of them.”

Zanganeh said he thinks $70 per barrel would be a “very good” oil price. The international benchmark, Brent, was at $74.19 a barrel on Friday.

“Many options”

Iraq’s oil minister says he is confident that officials from major oil-producing countries will reach an agreement on raising oil production at their meeting in Vienna.

Jabar Ali al-Luaibi said as ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries gathered Friday that “there is a lot of chance” of an agreement.

He said that there are “many, many options … and we will settle to one of those options.” He wouldn’t say what outcome is most likely but said that “we have so many options and they are all workable.”

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said the OPEC ministers will discuss a proposal to increase output by about 1 million barrels per day. A production increase on Friday would undo a cut agreed on in late 2016 that has since then helped push up the price of oil by almost 50 percent.

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