Iran says US-caused oil spike will slow growth, add to tariff impact

While Trump has accused the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries of driving up oil prices. (Shutterstock)
Updated 15 July 2018
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Iran says US-caused oil spike will slow growth, add to tariff impact

  • The comments underline the still-simmering tensions after OPEC’s meeting last month
  • Saudi Arabia said the deal allowed countries able to produce more, such as itself

LONDON: A rise in oil prices caused by the United States’ sanctions policies will hurt economic growth in China, Europe and other consumers, much like President Donald Trump’s trade measures, a top Iranian official said on Thursday.
Iran’s OPEC governor also told Reuters the rise in oil output by OPEC and its allies, after pressure by Trump to do so, was only 170,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June and would not grow much in 2019, also weighing on economic growth.
While Trump has accused the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries of driving up oil prices, Iran, OPEC’s third-largest producer, says the United States has caused this by imposing sanctions on Iran and fellow OPEC member Venezuela.
“The higher oil prices Trump is causing are leading to a higher energy bill in the EU, Japan, China and India, impacting their economic growth just like the tariffs imposed upon them, also enabling Saudi Arabia and the UAE to pay their arms bill to the US,” Iran’s Hossein Kazempour Ardebili said.
The comments underline the still-simmering tensions after OPEC’s meeting last month, when the group agreed to return to full compliance with earlier agreed oil output cuts, after months of underproduction by OPEC countries including Venezuela.
Saudi Arabia said the deal allowed countries able to produce more, such as itself, to go ahead and do so, to make up for shortfalls elsewhere. Iran strongly disagreed and criticized Saudi plans to boost output.
Kazempour said Trump may be disappointed by the scale of the production increase so far and voiced skepticism Saudi Arabia and Russia could add much more oil in 2019.
“These days Saudi Arabia are supplying out of stocks not additional production,” he said. “Russia is also unable to do much not even 200,000 barrels per day — all are talking few barrels next year and the world economy will shrink and all indexes will be down.”
“The June versus May increase in OPEC and non-OPEC production was only 170,000 bpd. Does this surprise you, Mr.President?“
The International Energy Agency, in a report on Thursday, put the combined month-on-month increase at 230,000 bpd.
If Iran were able to develop its liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry to its full potential, Tehran could help reduce reliance on Russia, Kazempour said — something that the United States would favor.
“Trump is concerned about EU and German dependence on Russian gas. Why do Trump and American companies together with EU companies not invest in Iranian LNG for Europe? Iran holds the largest gas reserves.”
The US president had launched a sharp public attack on Germany on Wednesday for supporting a Baltic Sea gas pipeline deal with Russia, saying Berlin had become “a captive to Russia.”


Twitter triples first-quarter profit to $191 million

Updated 23 April 2019
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Twitter triples first-quarter profit to $191 million

  • Profits in the first quarter hit $191 million, compared with $61 million a year earlier
  • The longstanding metric of monthly active users was 330 million in the January-March period

WASHINGTON: Twitter said Tuesday its profits tripled in the past quarter even as it ramped up efforts to root out abuse and misconduct on its short messaging platform.
Profits in the first quarter hit $191 million, compared with $61 million a year earlier, while revenues increased 18 percent to $787 million.
Twitter’s global user base appeared to show modest growth even as the company transitions to a different way of measuring it.
The longstanding metric of monthly active users was 330 million in the January-March period, an increase of nine million from the past quarter but down slightly from a year ago.
But Twitter no longer will use that measure, switching instead to “monetizable” daily active users — 134 million in the past quarter, up from 120 million last year.
Chief executive Jack Dorsey said Twitter is benefiting from its moves to root out abusive and inauthentic content that had hurt Twitter’s reputation.
“We are taking a more proactive approach to reducing abuse and its effects on Twitter,” said Dorsey.
“We are reducing the burden on victims and, where possible, taking action before abuse is reported.”
He added that Twitter aims to become “more conversational” and has launched a prototype for a new app called “twttr,” with the goal of “making conversation on Twitter feel faster, more fluid and more fun.”