Iran General NewsIran says oil price too low at 115 dollars...

Iran says oil price too low at 115 dollars a barrel

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ImageAFP: Even at 115 dollars a barrel, oil is priced too low, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in comments published on Saturday adding that the commodity "should find its real value".

ImageTEHRAN (AFP) — Even at 115 dollars a barrel, oil is priced too low, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in comments published on Saturday adding that the commodity "should find its real value".

"Oil at 115 dollars a barrel in today's market is a deceiving figure, oil is a strategic commodity and should find its real value," the state broadcaster's website quoted Ahmadinejad as saying on Friday.

New York's benchmark contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, surged 1.83 dollars to a record close of 116.69 dollars a barrel on Friday. It had earlier hit an intra-day all-time peak of 117 dollars.

Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari, whose country is OPEC's number-two oil producer and exporter, on Wednesday rejected calls from oil consuming countries for the cartel to take action to bring down prices.

"The oil price has reached 114 dollars a barrel. When the price is suitable and supply is higher than demand, this shows the reason is somewhere else and we should deal with this other reason," he said.

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries — which produces 40 percent of the world's oil — has refused to raise its daily output quota which is currently fixed at 29.67 million barrels.

Ahmadinejad suggested that the sharp fall in the value of the US dollar was a driving force behind the rise in oil prices.

"The dollar is no longer money, they just print a bunch of paper which is circulated in the world without any commodity backing," he said.

Late last year, Iran announced that it had stopped carrying out its oil transactions in dollars.

"At the moment, selling oil in dollars has been completely halted, in line with the policy of selling crude in non-dollar currencies, " Nozari was quoted as saying in December.

The world's fourth largest oil exporter, Iran massively reduced its dependence on the US dollar during last year in the face of US pressure on its financial system amid the standoff over its nuclear programme.

On Thursday, OPEC announced that the price of oil sold by its members had hit a record high of 106.65 dollars per barrel.

Oil ministers from the 12-nation cartel will be joined by chief executives of major producers as some 500 delegates assemble for the International Energy Forum in Rome on Sunday.

Pressure for a rise in the cartel's output ceiling is likely to intensify as the record crude prices weigh down on a slowing world economy.

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