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Iran's oil minister blames U.S. for market tensions – Reuters Africa

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March 16 (Reuters) – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Saturday frequent U.S. comments about oil prices had created market tensions, the ministry’s news website SHANA reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has made the U.S. economy one of his top issues, has repeatedly tweeted about oil prices and the Organization of the Petroleum Producing Countries. He has expressed concern about higher prices, including last month and ahead of OPEC’s meeting in December.

“Americans talk a lot and I advise them to talk less. They (have) caused tensions in the oil market for over a year now and they are responsible for it, and if this trend continues, the market will be more tense,” SHANA quoted Zanganeh as saying.

U.S. crude futures briefly hit a 2019 high on Friday but later retreated along with benchmark Brent oil as worries about the global economy and robust U.S. production put a brake on prices.

OPEC and its allies including Russia, an alliance known as OPEC+, agreed last year to cut production, partly in response to increased U.S. shale output.

“We do not know whether U.S. waivers would be extended or not, we will do our job but they (the U.S.) say something new every single day,” Zanganeh said.

Washington granted waivers to eight major buyers of Iranian oil after reimposing sanctions on Iran’s oil sector in November, after withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. (Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian)