TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran on Wednesday rejected calls from crude oil consuming countries for the cartel OPEC to act to lower oil prices that have reached record highs, describing current price as "suitable".
"Why should OPEC try to lower the prices, despite the demands from the United States and Britain?" Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari told an oil conference in Tehran
"They can go on demanding what they want," he added.
In afternoon trade on Tuesday, New York's main oil contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, was 20 cents lower at 113.59 dollars a barrel. The contract earlier topped 114 dollars for the first time.
"The oil price has reached 114 dollars a barrel. When the price is suitable and supply is higher than demand this shows the reason (for the price) is somewhere else and we should deal with this other reason," he said.
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) -- which produces 40 percent of the world's oil -- has refused to hike its daily output quota which is currently fixed at 29.67 million barrels.
Nozari reaffirmed his belief that the current high crude price did not reflect market fundamentals and has been caused by a plunge in the dollar.
"I believe that prices are not real. If we consider inflation and the depreciation of the dollar's value, prices are not real," he said.
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