TEHRAN (AFP) — A US bill authorising the federal government to sue OPEC in US courts over alleged price fixing is "inexpert" and "misleading," a senior Iranian oil official said on Saturday.
"The claim that OPEC has imposed the current prices on the market by cutting production is completely inexpert and a projection of US economic problems," said Hojatollah Ghanimi-fard, director of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Co.
"Misleading the public mind appears to be the main point in this respect," he told the oil ministry's news service Shana.
"Is it not true that OPEC's output is at its highest within recent years and that the strategic supplies in consumer countries, especially the United States, have increased," asked Ghanimi-fard.
Iran is the world's fourth-largest oil exporter and number two in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which produces 40 percent of the world's oil.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed the bill in the latest swipe at the cartel over skyrocketing oil prices, which have shot to 135 dollars a barrel.
The bill would allow the US Justice Department to subject OPEC member nations to the same anti-trust laws that US firms face.
When oil prices reached 115 dollars a barrel last month Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said oil was priced too low and that the commodity "should find its real value."
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