Iraqi Paper Accuses Riyadh of Looking to Harm OPEC Interests

Published July 5th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

An official Iraqi newspaper on Wednesday accused Saudi Arabia of looking to hurt the interests of OPEC countries by announcing a possible hike in oil production to bring down prices. 

"The Saudi decision is an example of irresponsible behavior aimed at hurting the interests of the member countries of OPEC," charged Babel, run by the eldest son of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. 

Saudi's oil minister, Ali Nuaimi, warned Monday that "if prices do not come down, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in concert with the other producer countries, will increase production by 500,000 barrels per day very soon from now." 

Tuesday, he was reported busy on the phone saying Saudi Arabia would not act unilaterally. 

"The Saudi decision would cost OPEC countries enormous losses of not less than five billion dollars a month if the prices were lowered to 25 dollars a barrel," Babel said. 

An Iraqi oil ministry official on Tuesday described Nuaimi's statement as a "US plot" and urged the cartel's member states to put an end to bowing to US pressure to lower prices - BAGHDAD (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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