Reuters: A senior Iranian oil official said on Saturday he expected the oil price to fall ahead of November’s U.S. presidential election, suggesting Washington would seek to push it down for political reasons.
TEHRAN (Reuters) – A senior Iranian oil official said on Saturday he expected the oil price to fall ahead of November’s U.S. presidential election, suggesting Washington would seek to push it down for political reasons.
Hojjatollah Ghanimifard told the Fars News Agency that “those in political power in the (United States) will try to (influence) the market through various factors to create interest in voters to elect individuals of their preference.”
“In view of the U.S. presidential election and the fact that the U.S. is the biggest consumer of oil products, oil prices will face a decline in summer,” Ghanimifard, international affairs director of the National Iranian Oil Company, said.
He said this trend would continue until after the election, without elaborating on how the United States could try to drive crude prices lower.
Ghanimifard last month also said oil prices would slide before the U.S. election but rise after that.
His latest comments came three days after U.S. President George W. Bush formally endorsed Republican John McCain for president.
The White House on Wednesday said it was disappointed that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries chose to hold output steady this week in the face of record-high crude oil prices. Iran is OPEC’s second-largest producer.
Oil ended slightly lower on Friday, falling from record highs hit earlier when buying by speculators hedging against the weaker dollar and inflation sent prices above $106 a barrel.
The steady decline in the U.S. dollar has helped push commodity prices higher, while a sharp drop in U.S. crude stocks and OPEC’s decision on Wednesday not to increase output also boosted oil prices.
White House officials say tight supply is the primary reason behind record-high oil prices, while OPEC ministers point to market speculation.
The United States and Iran severed diplomatic ties shortly after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution and are now embroiled in a deepening standoff over Tehran’s disputed nuclear plans.