Oil is abundant in the world's crude market, and current high oil prices are "fake," Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech.
The constant increases in the price of crude are unwarranted since the market has more than enough oil, he said during a meeting of the OPEC Fund for International Development in the central Iranian city of Isfahan.
The dollar is being manipulated weaker, too, the Iranian president charged.
"At a time when the growth of consumption is lower than the growth of production and the market is full of oil, prices are rising, and this trend is completely fake and imposed," Ahmadinejad said.
Oil prices are being manipulated by “visible and invisible hands,” he said.
The price of oil is skyrocketing, he said, in order to secure economic and political gains.
Speculation is the reason behind the increasingly high prices of crude, not a lack of supply, Ahmadinejad said. Iran is the world's fourth-largest oil exporter.
Iran has repeatedly blamed geopolitical factors and the weak U.S. dollar for the out of control oil prices.
The dollar has lost 15 percent of its value over the past 12 months against the euro to $1.54 per euro. Since oil is priced in dollars, producers have had to increase prices in part to offset losses when converting that money into local currency.
“As you know the decrease in the dollar's value and the increase in energy prices are two sides of the same coin which are being introduced as factors behind the recent instability,” Ahmadinejad said.
Oil prices have been as high as $140. The prices leveled off recently as Saudi Arabia, the world’s top exporter of oil, announced it will increase its output to its highest rate in decades. Consumption has slipped as well, and there are signs that a slowing U.S. economy could cool prices.
Ahmadinejad again touted his idea that oil should not be sold in U.S. dollars, but instead in a basket of currencies. No other OPEC members have favored the concept except for Venezuela. The oil-rich South American giant sells much of its oil to the United States.
One of the world’s largest problems is the continuing decline of the value of the dollar, he said.
"A combination of the world's valid currencies should become a basis for oil transactions or (OPEC) member countries should determine a new currency for oil transactions," Ahmadinejad said.
The dollar is simply a “worthless piece of paper,” Ahmadinejad has said in the past. Now he says “some big powers” have pushed the dollar even lower for a reason.
He said it is no accident the dollar continues to decline.
"For years they imposed inflation and their own economic problems to other nations by injecting the dollar without any support to the global economy,” he said.
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