Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh on Sunday called U.S. President Donald Trump's recent tweet on oil prices 'the biggest insult' to Washington's allies in the Middle East, the ministry's news agency said.
'Today [on Sunday], the [Joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee] JMMC meeting is being held in Algeria, and I hope that the outcome of this meeting will not be affected by President Trump's threatening tweet, which stated that 'We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us,'' Shana quoted Zanganeh as saying.
Trump wrote Thursday on Twitter: 'We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!'
'In my view, President Trump's statement is the biggest insult to the governments and nations of the U.S.' allies in the region,' the minister said.
'I hope that such threats would not frighten some of my colleagues to follow President Trump's instructions. OPEC is an organization independent of the U.S. and I hope it will remain so,' he added.
Zangeneh also went on to say that word had gotten out that the JMMC, 'operating beyond its mandate', was to provide a figure for increasing oil supply under the pretext of the so-called 'offsetting shortages caused by Iran's production reduction'.
The JMMC convened in Algiers with the oil and energy ministers of OPEC and non-OPEC countries including Russia.
Iran's OPEC Governor Hussein Kazempour Ardebily said no production increase was discussed during Sunday's meeting, Shana said in a separate report.
Ardebily, who represented Iran in the meeting, told Shana that the compliance of OPEC and non-OPEC signatories of the OPEC output cut deal was announced at 118 percent and 119 percent, respectively, during the meeting.
'The member countries present in the meeting emphasized 100 percent compliance to the OPEC-Non-OPEC agreement,' he said.
In 2016, OPEC and non-OPEC crude oil producers including Russia agreed to reduce overall production by 1.8 million barrels per day by December 2018.
Sunday's meeting comes several weeks ahead of reimposed U.S. sanctions against Iran.
In May, Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from the 2015 landmark nuclear deal signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations -- the five permanent UN Security Council members U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany.
He also announced that he would reinstate sanctions against Tehran, which were lifted by the agreement in exchange for tight restrictions on the country's nuclear program. The measures will curb Iran's oil exports and will hit the revenues that Tehran needs to finance its budget.
The sanctions are set to go into effect on Nov. 4.
By Hale Turkes